Region's year-over-year home sales rise 10.6%
The number of homes sold in the Pittsburgh area during the past nine months increased 10.6 percent over the same period in 2012, pushed by builders and buyers who are more confident about the economy and sellers who are getting better prices.
Sales of new and existing homes in the five-county Pittsburgh region through Sept. 30 reached 21,547, compared with 19,475 during the same period last year, according to RealStats Inc., a South Side firm that tracks transactions.
“For about six years, the economy was not percolating enough to cause real estate to move. Now, it is,” said George Hackett, president of Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh.
Higher prices these days are encouraging people to trade up to bigger homes or, in the case of retirees, to downsize or move away. Many had been unable to sell for years because they owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. The average home in this area sold for $173,868 during the past nine months, or 4.3 percent higher than $166,727 a year ago.
In addition, with 30-year mortgage interest rates still in the “4 percent range,” they are low enough to attract buyers and increase sales in the region and nationally, said Hackett, whose firm is one of about 800 nationwide owned by Coldwell Banker.
RealStats data cover Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Sales of new homes reflected a resurgent market. Top seller NVR Inc. sold 607 homes in the past nine months, compared with 377 a year earlier. Maronda Homes Inc. sold 204, versus 191 the year before.
“Builders sense more people are willing to buy, so they are building more homes,” said Jeff Martin, president of the Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh. “And people understand the cost of homes is only going to continue to rise, so they might as well get in now.”
Existing homes accounted for the majority of area home sales, however, with 20,116 homes changing hands through Sept. 30. That was 10.8 percent more than 18,148 last year.
The rise in Pittsburgh-area home sales roughly reflected the national trend. According to data from the National Association of Realtors, about 3.5 million existing homes were sold in the United States from January through August, an 11.8 percent increase over the year-ago period.
NAR spokesman Walter Molony said pent-up demand largely accounts for existing-home sales, which the association forecasts will increase by 11 percent for 2013.
Thomas Olson is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412-320-7854 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Thousands of American steel jobs believed lost to import surge
- Utility regulator seeks $639,000 in penalties from electric supplier
- Microsoft keeping $93B offshore, off U.S. tax rolls
- GM’s legal team targeted in federal investigation
- Advocacy group requests investigation of Chrysler power system failures
- Beware mergers’ bad spawn
- Central banks around globe moving in different directions
- Google Maps opens business doors to online views for shoppers
- Instead of clarity, Federal Reserve Chair Yellen offers more uncertainty on interest rate hikes
- Deere to lay off about 460 from Iowa tractor plant
- Few homeowners expected to benefit from Bank of America’s $16.65B settlement