These days it seems like every time you turn on the news you get the “sky is falling” perspective on the economy and the real estate market. I’m happy to say that hasn’t been my experience this summer. Sales have been strong and some of our local industries are doing quite well, so I thought I would start today with a glass-is-half-full perspective.
Pittsburgh’s real estate market continues to do well. In fact, during the first quarter of 2011 the average home price was up 3.5%, compared to a 3.6% drop in the average home price during the same period nationwide. In June 2011, Clear Capital® Reports ranked Pittsburgh the #3 Highest-Performing Major Housing Market in the country.
Interest rates are amazingly low. If you have good credit and a down payment you can get rates in the 3%’s.
The number of foreclosures in Pittsburgh has fallen to its lowest point in 6 years, which in time should result in fewer low priced foreclosures competing with sellers, leading to better prices.
The area’s unemployment rate is 7.4%, much lower than the national rate of 9.2%, and down .6% from this time last year.
Pittsburgh's diverse industries of healthcare, energy, technology and education match up well with the biggest growth industries in general. So while we don’t mind doubling as Gotham City in the movies, in real life we really don’t resemble the dark and dreary manufacturing city.
The 7-county Pittsburgh region totaled $115.6 billion in annual gross product in 2010, up 6% since 2007. That's more gross product than the country of Vietnam, the state of Maine or the city of Cleveland.
The Marcellus Shale boom holds the potential for big economic gains and tens of thousands of jobs for our region. The real question is can it be accomplished without destroying the clean and green environment that Pittsburgh has struggled so hard to reclaim? That will be one of the most important questions for our region, and a debate that all Pittsburghers who remember our history need to take part in.
And last but not least, we are America’s most Livable City for 2011, America’s leading location of the future” in 2011 and 6th on Forbes list for most affordable U.S. Cities.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed by the bad economic news remember how lucky we are to be living here in the ‘burgh!
Buying or Selling a home in Pittsburgh? Call Christa Ross from RE/MAX Select Realty, at 724-933-6300 x214 (office) or 724-309-1758 (direct) or visit my website at www.bestpittsburghhomes.com.