The lack of Livonia home buyers trading up makes it particularly tough for first-time buyers to break into home ownership. If builders built more homes, homeowners might move up, but because homeowners aren't moving up, the builders aren't seeing as much demand for new construction homes.

Buyers may also be facing higher borrowing costs this year since interest rates are expected to rise.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has been below 4.5% since January 2014. Higher mortgage rates could also keep homeowners in their homes longer if they purchased when rates were at historic lows.