Good neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for buy and hold?

6 Replies


Can people who are familiar with Pittsburgh market please recommend good areas in and around Pittsburgh for buying a cashflow property? By good area, I am primarily looking at class A and B properties/tenant areas and SFHs.

Also I understand that currently these areas might not have good returns due to price increases in last few years, but thats ok. I am looking at more longer term plan.


Off the cusp...

Upper tier: shadyside, squirrel hill, Mt. Lebanon


A-B mix: South side, Bloomfield, highland park, Greenfield, Mt. Washington, Lawrenceville, Oakland, regent square, friendship, central north side

You're welcome.  Of those, you'll likely find the best returns in Mt. Washington, south side and Greenfield.  If you want to get more detailed, give me a call and I'll be happy to discuss further.

I've just been looking at many South Side Flats properties as a newbie REI but good with numbers. The problem I'm finding is the retail prices are relatively high but the rents are relatively low. The inflation is most acute about a one block radius from East Carson, but gets a lot better as you move up into South Side Slopes.

You won't find any 2% properties anywhere, and you will struggle to break 1%.  The few properties I was selecting for a Owner/Occupier that had decent value were running about 0.8% and a cash flow of barely break even.

You'll also notice a huge difference in price between rehabbed properties and ones whose vintage 1900 age is immediately apparent.  Those that have been fixed up real nice appear that somebody bought a junker, but then think they can get about 200K for the property when the comps might be only 160K. 

So you're probably going to find it a very tough market for good cash flow deals. But good luck!


Hi Scott,

I just saw your post and thought it was very timely as I am interested in doing the same thing (and very close to purchasing), but am experiencing the same woes. My question to Chris and others, is it worth buying a property up the slopes that supposedly yields the same rental return (maybe $1600/month for a 3b), but for a lower purchasing price? My numbers suggest yes, however, I'm concerned that renters will be much harder to come by.

I've already put out a few "feelers" on CL and the results have been underwhelming, but maybe I'm priced too high.

Thanks for any advice!


The sale price numbers get much better as you work your way up the Slopes, towards Station Square, or towards Arlington, but the properties get harder to sell. Not sure how easy they are to rent as I don't get access to those numbers off the MLS. I can tell you that properties coming onto the market in the Slopes often get priced high and then go through price reductions while sitting on the MLS for months.

Near as I can tell the epicenter for value is up to one block off E. Carson Street, north or south, and between 18th St and 27th St. Outside that perimeter the sale price drops quicker than than the rental value, and you'll see $/sq. ft. transition from $120-$140+ down to <$100.

An invester outside Pittsburgh looking at these income properties should think about marketing them to nurses and researchers, not the stereotypical students for UPitt, CMU, etc. Even though the watering holes are frequented by college kids on the weekends, the density of restaurants and bars actually works better for busy professionals who want to live in a walkable urban area.