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Pittsburgh Home Foreclosures Fell, Made City the Best Market



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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Pittsburgh home foreclosures have been declining significantly, making the city the best housing market this year, based on the housing affordability index compiled by Wells Fargo and the National Association of Home Builders.

Pittsburgh has not been clobbered by the housing crisis as much as other large cities. Last year, the city was in the bottom of the metro-area foreclosure charts. In the report released by a California real estate firm, Pittsburgh was 156th in a ranking of 203 metro areas based on percentage of foreclosures properties.

The 9,220 filings in Pittsburgh last year marked a drop of 8 percent from 2008 and represented only 0.83 percent of all households in the metro area. The metro foreclosure percentage was almost the same as the 0.82-percent rate of home foreclosures in Pennsylvania in 2009, but it bucked the statewide increasing trend.

Pittsburgh was considered the best housing market by NAHB housing index analysts based on three factors: home affordability, relatively low foreclosure rate, and positive prospects for price appreciation.

Pittsburgh scored high on all the three factors. In the area, 85 percent of all homes for sale are affordable to families earning the $62,500 median household income. The rate of Pittsburgh home foreclosures is relatively very low out of every 120 households, only one was in the foreclosure process in 2009. Investors and homeowners can also look forward to an increase in property values as home prices in the area are expected to climb up by 2.7 percent in the latter part of 2010.

According to James P. Gaines, economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Pittsburgh, like other cities reliant on manufacturing industries, have suffered when industries collapsed, but the manufacturing decline also prevented real estate prices to shoot up to unmanageable price levels that battered other cities. Gaines added that communities in Pittsburgh were revitalized because homes remained affordable and service-level jobs were available.

Based on data from RealSTATS, the average home price in the 5-county Pittsburgh metro area dropped to $147,600 in 2009, a two-percent decrease from the $150,558 average price in 2008. The median sales price, however, climbed up slightly to $119,900, a jump of 1.6 percent from the $118,000 median in 2008.

The pace of Pittsburgh home foreclosures slowed in 2009, with foreclosure filings in the 5-county area dropping to 3,948 postings, marking the third consecutive year of foreclosure decline from the 5,228 foreclosures filed in 2006.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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