Pittsburgh Home Values Continue to Rise

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By Randi Petrello

Pittsburgh was on a slight upswing when it came to housing values for the first month of 2013, mirroring a small uptick across the United States, according to new data from Zillow.

The online real estate site found that home values in the Steel City increased 1 percent to $112,900 in January compared to December. That’s a 2.9 percent increase year-over-year.

The same was not true for rents in the city, which declined 4.4 percent to $942 since December. That figure was down 3 percent from January 2012.

Nationwide, home values edged up 0.7 percent month-over-month to $158,100. It was the fifteenth month in a row that home values saw gains. Year-over-year, home values increased 6.2 percent. It was the largest gain since July 2006, Zillow said, when home values increased 7.5 percent year-over-year.

Rent went down 0.2 percent to $1,271, according to Zillow’s Rent Index. However, national rents saw a 4.3 percent increase compared to January 2012.

“The winter months are typically when things cool off in the housing market, but high demand and continued tight inventory in many markets have helped keep things at a boil through the early part of 2013,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

Demand will continue to be high throughout 2013, which Humphries said would help home values and rents alike continue to rise.

“Foreclosure activity remains high, despite recent drop-offs. This will have the dual effects of nurturing rental demand, as displaced former homeowners seek new lodgings, and of adding supply to many markets, as foreclosed properties re-enter the market,’’ he said.

The metro areas with the highest home value gains over January 2012 were Phoenix, 21.9 percent; San Francisco, 17.2 percent; San Jose, 16.8 percent; Las Vegas, 16.2 percent; and Sacramento, 13.7 percent.

Of the 30 metro markets analyzed, St. Louis and Orlando were the only cities that fell month-over-month. Baltimore was flat.

Foreclosures fell in January, to 5.54 homes foreclosed out of every 10,000 homes nationwide, down 0.8 homes over December and down 2.3 homes year-over-year.


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