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Economy & Business

Pittsburgh Housing Market Continues Upward Trend

More homes sold in the Pittsburgh area last month than a year ago, and they were scooped up more quickly — at higher prices.

That’s according to the West Penn Multi-List which reports that in the 13-county region, 3,817 residential homes were sold last month, up 14.7 percent from August 2012. Those homes were on the market for 72 days compared to 82 days a year ago, and the average sales price rose 2.6 percent to nearly $178,000.

George Hackett, president of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, said the brisk sales only help the market to continue to stabilize and allow prices to adjust accordingly.

“(The market is) selling more than new listings are coming on so but that’s been good in a way because it has depleted a lot of the surplus inventory,” he said. “With that, then it makes the market more realistic — homes coming on (the market), homes selling quicker — and therefore it helped drive the prices back up to where they should be.”

The report from West Penn indicates a steady trend of improvement in the market over the last eight months. From January to August, the number of residential homes placed under agreement increased 9.1 percent compared to 2012, while new listings and home sale prices increased 2.6 percent in the eight-month period.

Hackett believes the improving economic outlook across the country makes now the best time to invest in a home.

“Right now is a great time to get in before the (interest) rates go back up, which they are gonna do because the economy’s picking up, and as that does that the government’s gonna back off what they’re doing to try and help the rates stay low,” he said.

Hackett said he’s thinks “every month’s been good, and I think September’s gonna be equally as good.”