The Southwest PA Housing Market—A Home Run?

REALStats has released its 2010 year end report on housing data for the five county area of southwestern Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland counties) and included in that data is a wealth of information going back two decades to 1990. The data is exclusively residential-arm’s length sales of homes, townhomes, and duplexes with a minimum price of $10k-and provides a longitudinal view of the trends in the housing market in this corner of the state.

How does the sample’s largest county (Allegheny) stack up in comparison to the sample as a whole? From 1990-2010, the report shows:

  • The average sale price in Allegheny County rose 84% (from $83k to $152k), slightly less than the five-county average (87%). Beginning in 1992, the average sale price in Butler surpassed Allegheny ($91k to $89k) and, by 2010, the gap had widened to $53k with the average sale price in Butler standing at $205k. The average sale prices in Beaver ($113k) and Westmoreland ($133k) were lower.
  • Virtually the same trend exhibited itself when the median price was examined: Allegheny grew 89% ($63k to $120k) but the sample average grew 97% ($63k to $123k).
  • Some $2.1 billion in sales volume occurred in 2010 in Allegheny, which represented 60% of the five-county area total ($3.6 billion). Allegheny’s highest year was 2006 with $2.6 billion in sales while the high point for the five-county area came in 2005 ($4.8 billion).
  • The number of home sales in Allegheny is down from the 2004 high when 20,849 and stood at 14,203 in 2010. The total for the five-county area in 2010 was 24,016 with the high point-34,804-met in 2004.
  • The rate of foreclosure has risen sharply. Up 189% in Allegheny County but far outpaced by the five-county average of 342%. There were more than 3,500 foreclosures in the area in 2010, with just over 2,000 of these in Allegheny.