Posted about 1 year ago

Why Invest in Pittsburgh Real Estate?

Why should you invest in real estate in Pittsburgh, PA? Well, when it comes to real estate, home prices are up and the number of homes sold have increased from previous years. Investment property buyers are seeing Pittsburgh as a great place to invest in. The ability to buy-in lower than many other more saturated markets, while obtaining great returns on their investments, attracts Investors from all over the globe. Pittsburgh continues to experience a major transformation from it's early years of smoke-filled skies, dirty soot-filled sidewalks and run down neighborhoods. And having lived here my whole life, I have witnessed this metamorphosis. Neighborhood revitalization is on the forefront as businesses, large and small, see our city as the land of opportunity. With those businesses comes an influx of people expanding our existing population and looking for affordable housing. Pittsburgh is being transformed brilliantly from that diamond in the rough to the world class city we proudly call home.


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has certainly gone through a transformation over the years. Located at the confluence of 3 rivers, it became an early 20th century industrial capital. The mills thrived and families often lived in a wide variety of ethnic neighborhoods entrenched in rich tradition. Despite the often very poor air quality, it was still a great place to grow up. But in the last 20 years or so of that century, the mills closed or moved and we were left with a rather fledgling economy that went through some very precarious phases. Out of the ashes rose a mighty phoenix that in the 21st century is often referred to as an innovative tech hub. Even CBRE has recently listed it as the #3 market in North America for high-tech job growth. The revitalization of Pittsburgh's neighborhoods have been exciting to witness. While the layout has changed and yes, the air has dramatically improved, that "hometown" feeling has remained. Pittsburgh's vibe has often been described as friendly and fresh. And we are going through a housing explosion like no other. Here's why...

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at the end of 2017 the unemployment rate was at 4.5%, lower than the state of PA overall. The local job sector is actually a big reason why the real estate market is doing so well. Since it takes a steady income and often good credit to buy or rent, lower unemployment rates help drive home and investment property buying. Now with that said, mortgage rates are on the rise but they are still relatively low. According to Bankrate, as of March 2018 the national average on a 30 year fixed mortgage rate has risen from 4.57% to 4.59% while a year ago it was at 4.38%. Pittsburgh's average stands at 4.26%. Bear in mind this is an average and each Lender may offer something different. Also there are various kinds of loan options other than conventional such as FHA, FHA203K, VA, Hard Money or Private Lending and more, so shop around, get creative and see what you qualify for. Then take that information and determine what areas of Pittsburgh you are interested in and what type of housing appeals to you. There are plenty of housing styles in a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and appeal!

Pittsburgh has many diverse neighborhoods that continue to be revitalized. New businesses of all sizes continue to open up. But in particular big businesses like Google, Uber, Apple, Facebook and Autodesk..even ARGO AI from Ford..have paved the way for Pittsburgh's tech makeover fueled by CMU's robotic, sciences and technological innovations. This has made Pittsburgh younger and more international, according to the New York Times, and has helped once neglected neighborhoods like Lawrenceville and East Liberty transform into tech hubs. Pittsburgh is also one of the top cities in the running for Amazon's HQ2 which could bring up to 50,000 additional jobs to the area. This announcement is supposedly due by the end of this year. Whether this materializes or not, Pittsburgh's growth is quite remarkable already. And many more projects are in development.

Pittsburgh's Mayor, Bill Peduto, has certainly spearheaded Pittsburgh's innovation progression. According to Harvard Business Review, Pittsburgh is at the "forefront of the clean energy revolution". Pittsburgh is "pioneering a renewable energy system, producing greener energy that has helped clean up the city and create a quality of life that attracts companies and talent" which creates more jobs, ultimately demanding more housing. And more jobs may also be created as the "Midwest Connect" chose the City as one of the global finalists by Hyperloop One, the California company that developed this particular technology of high speed transit. It would run between Pittsburgh and Chicago with a major stop in Columbus and other stops in between there and Chicago. Normally a 3 hour trip from Pittsburgh to Columbus, the Hyperloop would make it in 15 minutes with a full route to Chicago in 45 minutes. WOW! One of the reasons why this project selected our City was due to Pittsburgh's proximity to other major cities and the viability of the project itself. And we're not just limited to quick transportation and better air quality, Pittsburgh has many more accolades.

Ground breaking technology and medical discoveries put Pittsburgh at the top of the list for healthcare. U.S. News & World Report,in addition to Modern Maturity have designated the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) as the "busiest transplant center in the world". And Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as one of the "ten best in the country for pediatric medicine". Pittsburgh has your family or your tenants' healthcare covered. In addition, Pittsburgh offers many green space parks, cultural venues, shopping centers, award winning restaurants and is home to many sports championship teams. Pittsburgh's amenities and accolades are abundant!

It's great that the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors (PAR) named Pittsburgh as one of the best places for millenials and Timereported that Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville/East Liberty section was voted as the coolest neighborhood in America, and Inc. touts Pittsburgh as the next Silicon Valley. Even Inman News and USA Today cite Pittsburgh as one of the best places to live, buy and retire in because of strong home values, low crime rate, affordable cost of living, good low-cost healthcare and that home town feeling. Glassdoor ranks Pittsburgh as the #1 city to find a job and The Travel Channel ranks Pittsburgh as one of the best budget friendly vacation spots. Pittsburgh always makes someone's top list. All this is great, but again, why invest in Pittsburgh Real Estate?

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) is continuing to be involved in hundreds of projects ranging from the redevelopment of once industrial sites to offering residential developer financing programs, supporting sustainable development/green building practices and providing equal opportunities for business growth and development to minority and female business owners. According to CBRE "more urban multifamily units have been developed in the past three years than in the previous 15 combined".Various other publications including the International Business Times consistently rank Pittsburgh high among Real Estate Investors typically for it's affordable buy-in and solid ROI. Remodelers/Developers/Flippers are being enticed by this formula as well. While the get rich quick approach is certainly appealing, many find the "buy and hold" strategy of real estate investing a good old standby. Whether it be single family, multi-family, buy and hold, or fix and flip, Pittsburgh offers so many types of investing with various financing options. This grants the ability to develop a very strong investment portfolio.

Often referred to as America's Most Listable City (as it's always making a publication's best of....) home buyers and renters see Pittsburgh as a city that provides affordable housing, a dynamic job market, great schools and a relatively low cost of living. Pittsburgh provides the same larger city amenities while retaining that family friendly environment. And yes, it also appeals to the nightlife party-goers just as much as our senior living groups. Home sellers are finding current conditions especially conducive for them as it is still a Seller's market. Pittsburgh's low housing inventory often creates bidding wars that can prove profitable for home sellers. However, 2018 promises a resurgence in new construction of condos and apartment buildings in addition to other types of single and
multi-family residences. The real estate market often shifts from a seller's market to a buyer's market and back, but the key thing is that it's a strong market with optimum growth potential. No matter what, act fast! Pittsburgh real estate is booming!

If you are from Pittsburgh, you already know what the City provides. I hope you enjoy living here as much as I do. If you are from out of town, come visit Pittsburgh and see what it can offer you. Your home! Your Business! And Your Future in Real Estate is here in Pittsburgh.

Many Photos courtesy of Dave DeCello Photography