With high interest rates, high prices and low inventory, the housing market is slowing down across most of the country. But real estate is highly localized — things can be racing along in one city and super-slow in another. How is Pittsburgh faring amid these market conditions? If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house in the area, here’s what to know about the Pittsburgh housing market.
Pittsburgh housing market overview
The Steel City’s housing market has experienced many of the same trends that other U.S. cities have in the past few years. Data from Redfin shows that housing prices peaked in June 2022 at $270,000. By March 2023, the median sale price was down to $217,000. The number of homes sold in March is down since last year too, and those that do sell are staying on the market longer. But even with lower prices and a slower volume of sales, popular neighborhoods like Squirrel Hill North, Regent Square and Point Breeze remain competitive.
Pittsburgh housing trends and stats
Median home price: $217,000 as of March 2023, per Redfin data — that’s down 8.1 percent year-over-year.
Sale-to-list ratio: 96.4 percent, meaning homes are typically selling for 3.6 percent lower than their list price.
Days on market: 68, which is 16 days longer than this time last year.
Closing costs: 4.3 percent of the home’s sale price, on average, according to ClosingCorp — Pennsylvania is one of the most expensive states in the country for closing costs.
Should you buy or sell in the Pittsburgh housing market?
So much of whether you should buy or sell a house comes down to your finances and your personal circumstances. Prevailing market conditions don’t always take priority. Here’s what Pittsburgh buyers and sellers can expect:
If you’re a home seller
If you’re looking to sell your house in Pittsburgh, now can still be a good time to do it. Conditions may not be as optimal as they were in mid-2022, but the state overall is still a seller’s market, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. Its March 2023 Housing Report shows a 2.88-month housing supply; five to six months is needed for a balanced market. And Redfin data shows that more than 23 percent of homes sold in March fetched more than their list price.
That being said, sellers may need to put more in work and wait a bit longer to close a deal than they would have last year. Be sure to do your research and know how much your house is worth to set the right price — a local real estate agent can be a big help here.
If you’re a homebuyer
Home prices in Pittsburgh are very low compared to much of the U.S. In fact, its median price of $217,000 is an amazing $158,700 less than the nationwide median of $375,700. However, keep in mind that mortgage rates are still high, which can weaken your buying power even in an affordable area.
Set a budget for yourself, so that you know you’re buying a home you can comfortably afford. Bankrate’s affordability calculator can help you crunch the numbers. And before you start house-hunting, get preapproved for a mortgage. This will involve a lender looking over your finances to determine how much they’re likely to loan you. They’ll issue a preapproval letter, which you can submit with any offer you put down on a house. This letter shows sellers that you’re a qualified buyer.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer, Pennsylvania offers assistance programs that can help you cover down payment and closing costs. The city and county offer programs as well, so be sure to look into any that you might be eligible for.
Pittsburgh housing market predictions
With the extremes in home prices and mortgage rates in recent years, many people are trying to predict what will happen next in the housing market. While some may be throwing around the term housing market crash, experts do not think that will be the case. Yes, Pittsburgh home prices are falling and houses are staying on the market longer. But that’s reflecting a natural slowdown after an unusually hot period. All signs currently point to a normal market adjustment, not a crash.
Find a Pittsburgh real estate agent
With dozens of distinct neighborhoods, Pittsburgh is a complex real estate market. Add in the wider metro area, and you’ve got even more complexity. A local real estate agent who knows the market well will guide you through your sale or purchase with professional expertise.
An agent can help sellers set the right offer price and negotiate with potential buyers on your behalf. If there are any hiccups, they’ll help you work with the buyer to keep the sale on track. And for buyers, a knowledgeable agent can take your list of must-haves and match them with the best available houses in your budget. With the right agent, you’ll close the deal on your new home with a lot less stress.
Yes — much like many cities across the country, housing prices here are on the decline. According to Redfin data, the median sale price in Pittsburgh has dropped 8.1 percent year-over-year and by around $50,000 since June 2022.
Pittsburgh can be a great place to buy a house. For one thing, prices here are extremely affordable: The city’s median sale price as of March 2023 was $217,000, which is far below the nationwide median of $375,700. Its cost of living is also relatively low, and it is home to major universities, important art museums and several professional sports teams. However, the real estate market here has cooled since the pandemic-fueled real estate rush.