Pittsburgh is a major city in Pennsylvania with a population of a little over 300,000. As a city steeped in history, it is home to several university campuses and a booming steel industry. It is also a hub for clean energy and technology start-ups- and has been named one of the most liveable cities in the country.
Part of what makes it so liveable is the excellent housing market- which is affordable for investors and would-be homebuyers. Between students, young families looking for cheap properties, those buying to rent, and an influx of workers, demand in the city is high. Luckily for these buyers, Pittsburgh has no shortage of housing for sale- unlike many parts of the US right now.
The Pittsburgh real estate market reaches far beyond the city itself- covering many neighborhoods and suburban zones in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. It is a hot selling market- but is even hotter for buyers.
Below, we take a closer look at the real estate market in the Steel City- and cover the must-know trends and predictions for the future- from the median price of property to how many days it takes on average for homes to sell
A Quick Look at the Pittsburgh Real Estate Market
In general, Pittsburgh has a hot housing market that favors buyers over sellers- but so much so that it creates an issue. Home prices are significantly below the national average for the US- even after consecutive months of increase since the beginning of 2023.
There is a substantial inventory and plenty of properties to choose from- making it an affordable city that is great for real estate investing.
Because of Pittsburgh's high employment rates and large student population, many neighborhoods are seeing real estate growth- both in sales and renting.
It is a popular place for first-time homebuyers because of the favorable house prices- which make securing a mortgage a little easier than it is in many other areas.
Current Pittsburgh Housing Market Trends
Median Sale Price
The median home price for properties sold in Pittsburgh has been on the rise for consecutive months in 2023- climbing from $210,000 in February to almost $240,000 in April. This trend could be a sign of increased competition- possibly due to the number of people moving to the city.
Some experts believe the rise in the median listing home price is only temporary- since the large supply of housing still outweighs the demand. With only a small dip of 4% year-over-year, it is hard to determine what way things will go. Either way, the differences are minor, and the market remains appealing and affordable for many buyers and investors.
Home Sale Volume
Fewer homes are being sold right now in Pittsburgh than in the previous year, which could suggest demand is dropping (contrary to what the median housing prices suggest so far in 2023). There was a 15% difference year-over-year between 2022 and 2023 for April- with a total of 419 homes sold.
Average Days Spent On the Market
Homes in Pittsburgh, PA sell after an average of 50 days, according to reports from April 2023. The figure is only marginally higher than the previous year- and has dropped significantly over the past few months.
Looking at the trends in the past, February is always the slowest month for sales, and this year, the median figure sat at 76 days. Again, this was only two days more when compared year-over-year with 2022- which shows a stable and predictable pattern that most experts believe will continue.
The most recent sale-to-list price ratio in Pittsburgh is 98%- meaning most properties sell for just under the asking price. This represents a minor decrease from the year before- but is slightly higher than previous months.
There has been quite a drop in the number of homes sold for higher than their list price- from 47.7% in April 2022 to 32.5% in April 2023. Because of the increased number of listings, there is less competition between buyers- making it harder to drive sales up above asking. Only 19% of homes sold reduced their asking price, but that is 2% more year-over-year.
What Factors Impact the Real Estate Market in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania?
What makes the Pittsburgh real estate market move the way it does? Here is an overview of the factors that currently have the greatest impact on the housing market in the city.
Supply and Demand
Unlike most of the country, housing is in far from short supply. This fact makes it one of the hottest buyer's markets in the US. Because there are more houses for sale than interested buyers, sellers cannot price their properties higher unless they want to risk getting stuck on the market.
As a result, more sellers end up dropping their asking price, and the median sale price stays below the national average. That said, it has increased in recent months, due to an influx of people moving to Pittsburgh for work- so things could change if the current trends continue.
Increased Construction Efforts
In order to keep up with the housing demand created by employment growth and increasing numbers of students from out of state, many new construction projects have been given the green light.
It is one of the primary contributors to the high supply of housing in the city that helps to keep median home prices relatively low.
Across the country, rising mortgage interest rates have caused real estate markets to slow- since fewer people can afford monthly payments, and those with properties to sell are choosing not to because it doesn't make financial sense in the current climate.
In Pittsburgh, mortgage rates have not impacted the housing inventory in the same way it has in some other cities, but it certainly has contributed to slower market sales and a drop in sale volume.
Pittsburgh Housing Market Forecast
Overall, the forecast for the Pittsburgh housing market in the coming months does not predict any major changes- perhaps a slow in growth as the year closes and moves into 2024, but nothing overly alarming.
The median home sold price has been climbing recently, but is expected to turn around at some point. There is debate over when that will happen and by how much, and others believe prices will only go up.
Anyone looking to buy properties in the Pittsburgh metro area and beyond has a great opportunity to do so right now while prices are low and supply is high. Homes sell reasonably quickly, and the market is heating up as the year progresses. Despite some predictions for a dip in market growth moving into next year, most people still consider the city a good place to invest.
Although it is technically a buyer's market right now due to the amount of inventory, it is still a reasonably balanced market overall. Sellers can still sell their properties quickly- even if they need to price it competitively to do so.
The slight drop in overall home sales year-over-year is not a concern- simply the aftermath of rising inflation and interest rates that have made mortgage payments unfeasible for some. It has not dampened the spirits of the Philadelphia housing market overall, and Pittsburgh and its many popular neighborhoods are in some of the strongest positions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Pittsburgh real estate market at risk of crashing?
In short, no- a housing market crash is not a current concern for Pittsburgh. It has been near the top of the list of America's hottest real estate markets for years- and there is nothing to suggest any major changes soon.
Sure, there are challenges and changes in trends, but nothing is out of the ordinary for the climate in the country as a whole right now. If anything, the Pittsburgh housing market is in a better position than many other cities- and is more appealing to more potential buyers than it was last year.
Do most properties in Pittsburgh sell for approximately the asking price?
Yes- more or less. The average Pittsburgh home sells for just two percent under the asking price, although more than 32% of homes sold in April 2023 sold above the original list price.
How affordable is property in Pittsburgh?
The Pittsburgh median home sold price is significantly lower than the national average, so it is considered an affordable city to buy in. Sheraden is the most affordable neighborhood, with house prices as low as $127,500.
There are also some less affordable areas. Squirrel Hill North is one of the most expensive- currently showing a median list price of around $750,000.
All things considered, Pittsburgh's real estate market is generally quite affordable compared to some other major cities per square foot.
What is the Pittsburgh market like for rental property?
Real estate investors looking to buy properties in Pittsburgh to rent to tenants should consider the renting trends in the city as well as the buyer's market and seller's market.
There is a strong supply of renters in Pittsburgh- especially students. The city is home to many colleges and universities, so landlords in the area have a good chance of finding people to rent their properties.
Rent prices have increased by 3-5%- with the average monthly cost of a one-bedroom rental property sitting at $1250. Together with the reasonably affordable purchasing costs, it could be profitable for landlords and investors.