More homes sold and more quickly in the Pittsburgh region in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the latest residential real estate report from West Penn Multi-List, Inc.
Compared to the 2014 third quarter, the number of homes for sale increased by 8.8%, the number of homes sold increased 8.2%, and average sales price increased 1.7%. The number of days on the on the market decreased by 2.8% to an average of 70 days.
“We never increase like a lot of other markets in the sunbelt, in Florida, in California, in different places where they go peak real high,” said Ron Croushore, president of West Penn Multi-List, Inc., and owner and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. “15, 20, 30, some even 40% a year. We never have that. We’re pretty steady.”
Croushore added that the Pittsburgh region weathered the 2008 economic collapse better than other areas in the country.
“We, in Southwestern Pennsylvania, never lost any of our average sale price. We were pretty flat but we didn’t have growth. Other places in the country were down 20, 30, 40 percent. We never had that.”
Croushore credited much of the success to the current state of the housing market.
“Interest rates have never been this low, for this long of a period of time in my whole career.” said Croushore. “I mean I have been in the business for 35 years and it’s never been these interest rates that we’ve been experiencing now for almost 5 years.”
The report also pointed to steady improvements in the unemployment rate and average hourly and weekly earnings. Croushore said a strong housing market has a ripple effect across the economy.
“The housing market is kind of a symbolic indicator of market conditions overall” said Croushore. “If homes are selling people are painting they’re redoing, they’re landscaping, they’re wallpapering, they’re building on, they’re doing things.”