What is the story here?
On Sunday the PG had one of those "woe is us" type of real estate/foreclosure stories. Now I have to believe they looked far and wide for the best apocryphal example of the state of the real estate market here. What did they come up with? Some poor fellow who is having a difficult time selling a house in Friendship for $393K? I mean, really? This happens to be a couple blocks from where I live as disclosure. Most I talked to on this from the neighborhood thought it was just plain ridiculous.
Now I am sure there has been a real significant $ amount put into improving that particular house, but you have to wonder what anyone was thinking trying to sell it at that price. Or even if that was the goal, do you really get to be upset if that proves unrealistic. Don't get me wrong, I am sure the value of the improvements are 'worth' that price, but you have to know your market. These days home improvements are costly and there are few city of Pittsburgh neighborhoods where you can expect to get an investment of that scale back. Is this a real estate market story, or a bad investment decision story?
Put another way, would it not have been a much bigger story about the state of Pittsburgh if that house actually could sell for nearly $400K. Honestly, I even doubt myself these days on what the relatively benign data in the real estate market really means. But if this is the best example the media can come up with for how the real estate market has turned sour then it really comes across as more proof that things are pretty stable here.
For some more concrete positive news... across the nation employment went down in September in 41 of 50 states yet in Pittsburgh employment for the same period went up by more than 10K.... at least in the raw numbers. The seasonally adjusted employment change will likely be positive, but maybe a third or half of that unadjusted change. We will get that data next week. Still, positive in the face of all that is happening elsewhere is something.