Pittsburgh region sees 11th consecutive month of home sales increases

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The number of homes sold last month in the Pittsburgh area and their total value rose compared with August 2011, marking the 11th consecutive month of increases, according to data released today by local real estate information service RealSTATs.

"This comes off of seven years of consecutive decline," RealSTATs vice president Daniel Murrer said. "It's significant. We're in the first year of positive growth in eight years."

RealSTATs compiles the data from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

The total dollar volume of home sales in August in the region was $478 million, up 11 percent from nearly $431 million a year earlier.

Total homes sold rose 8.5 percent to 2,690 from 2,480.

One unusual statistic Mr. Murrer noted was a flattening of the median home sale price for the region, which was stuck at $135,000 year-over-year despite the boost in sales.

The median is the midpoint value at which half the homes sold are more expensive and half are less expensive.

"Over the last seven years we had continuous decline in activity yet price continued to increase," Mr. Murrer said. "We called it the Pittsburgh paradox, where sales continued to fall and values increased. This is almost the flip of that where you have increasing sales but flattening prices."

Mr. Murrer said he was not sure what factors were at work to produce such a result.

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Jonathan D. Silver: jsilver@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1962.


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