Home sales in region show gains in November

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The metropolitan Pittsburgh real estate market continues to show signs of improvement as the number of homes sold is increasing as well as the dollar amount being spent on real estate, according to RealSTATs, a South Side real estate information service.

Total home sales rose 18.5 percent last month, to 2,054 vs. 1,733 last year, while the total dollar volume was up 21 percent, to $331.5 million compared to $273 million a year ago. The statistics cover the five-county region that includes Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

All of the counties saw increased sales. Allegheny County's $30.3 million increase accounted for more than half of the region's dollar gain, followed by Butler County, which saw home sales increase by $11 million. Dollar gains in Westmoreland, Washington and Beaver counties were $6.1 million, $5.9 million and $4.6 million, respectively.

The average home price for new and existing homes in the five-county region rose 2.2 percent to $161,416 from $157,904 last year.

The largest gain came in Washington County, where average prices rose to $181,915 from $165,457. The average price in Allegheny County increased to $158,901 from $156,813. In Beaver County, average prices rose to $128,007 from $126,267. Butler County average home prices rose to $228,306 from $213,983.

Westmoreland County saw a drop in its average home price, to $135,277 from $140,629.

Sales of new homes in November rose a respectable 6.8 percent in the number of units sold and 5.3 percent in dollar volume.

Builders closed on 156 new homes, townhomes and condominums last month, compared to 146 new homes sold a year ago. Dollar activity in that categorys increased from $48.3 million in November 2011 to $50.8 million last month.

The median price of a new home remained relatively flat at $301,605, compared to $299,223 in November 2011.The average price of a new home in the five-county region clocked in at $325,728 from $330,573.

Three of the five counties saw the price of the average new homes there fall, while Butler County's average new home price increased more than 10 percent to $372,572 and Westmoreland County's average new home price increased 1 percent to $295,652.

breaking - businessnews

Tim Grant: tgrant@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1591


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