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Southwest PA Sees More Homes Listings, Sales As 2016 Kicks Off

Following a slow holiday season, home listings and sales rebounded a bit in January.

Southwestern Pennsylvania saw more real estate listings in sales at the opening of 2016 than it did the year prior.

According to a report by real estate agency West Penn Multi-List, 191 more homes were put up for sale in January 2016 (2,511) than in January 2015. It also saw 71 more homes sold this January (1,432) than a year earlier (1,361).

The report includes statistics from Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Crawford, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

However, the 5 percent increase in homes sold did not keep pace with the 8 percent jump in those listed — something Berkshire Hathaway Home Services CEO and West Penn Multi-List President Ron Croushore said he wasn’t concerned about.

Croushore said West Penn Multi-List has five months’ worth of properties available to sell, three months fewer than they did this time last year.

“If we keep selling at the pace we’re selling at now, in the whole Multi-List, we would run out of inventory five months if we didn’t have another home go on the market,” he said. “So the pace is pretty good, if not even a little bit better right now.”

The average home sales price also increased slightly from $169,000 in January 2015 to $170,000 this January.

Home sales slowed during the holiday season, but rebounded following the New Year. It’s a common occurrence, Croushore said.

“Not as many people list during (the holidays), because they don’t want people tracking through. But soon as the New Year begins in January that all goes away,” Croushore said. “Everybody kind of starts thinking ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ and they put their homes on the market right after the first of the year.”

Croushore said houses in all price ranges below $350,000 sold “pretty equally.”

Part of the reason that home listings and sales increased, Croushore said, is because federal interest rates have not been increased.

The real estate market might become more unpredictable as the year goes on because of the presidential elections, he added.

“It always gets a little bit crazy, people worrying … who’s going to get elected,” Croushore said.