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Southwestern Pennsylvania Reports Improved Real Estate Sales in October

Home sales in the Pittsburgh region are doing better than the national average, up 16.3 percent in the month of October compared to the same period last year. That's according to a report from West Penn Multi-List, Inc.

Annual sales numbers are down 1.8 percent from last year, but Ron Croushore, president of West Penn Multi-Lists said those figures were skewed in 2010 by a first-time homebuyers' incentive.

"Every month after April this year we picked up, and I'm predicting by year end we'll actually be a little bit ahead of last year's sale," Croushore said. "It was just the way it was distributed last year as compared to this year, which is still a good sign for southwestern Pennsylvania."

The report indicates that Allegheny County saw a 22.6 percent increase in home sale agreements last month compared to October 2010 (1,460 homes versus 1,191). In Beaver County, 187 homes were placed under sales agreements in October compared to 140 a year ago, up 33.6 percent. Home sales also rose in Washington County (12.8 percent, or 246 homes versus 218) and Butler County (12.6 percent, or 206 homes versus 183 in October 2010).

Croushore says the region is in a strong real estate position compared to the nation as a whole.

"If you listen to the national media they talk about high foreclosure rates, they talk about high short sale rates, they talk about the homes that are on the market, there is just a lot of inventory out there, well that's just not our case in southwestern Pennsylvania," Croushore said.

Croushore said that now is a good time to put a house on the market in this area, with new listings down 6.4 percent for the year compared to 2010.

"What we really need is, we need homes for sale. So if people are thinking of selling, now is a great time to sell their home, because interests rates are really good. There's a lot of buyers out there looking around," Croushore said.

The report shows that for the first ten months of this year, the average price of a home sold has risen 4.8 percent to $158,021, compared to $150,747 for the same period of 2010.