Thursday, January 22, 2009

Real estate wrap up - 2008

Let's see what is up with Pittsburgh real estate. The report making the rounds is that Moody's ranks Pittsburgh commercial real estate market #1 across the nation. Good news I suppose. At least it made the news here. It does not end there... per Grubb and Ellis, Pittsburgh was near the top (#5) in the net absorption of real estate here in 2008. It's a lot of data points piling up for even the most cynical.

But what I like better is that we finally have end of year foreclosure stats for the region. In the beginning of 2008, these stats were making monthly news, but we have not heard much in recent months. I was going to go back and regurgitate the quotes that made it to ink from earlier in the year all but promising a record year for foreclosures. What do we get per the PBT:
In the five-county Pittsburgh region, 3,949 home were foreclosed upon last year, down slightly from 4,229 in 2007, according to RealSTATs.

So foreclosures went down? Must be a typo, but hold that thought. What is a tad curious is the phrase 'down slightly'. My math says the number of foreclosures is down 6.6%. For most economic trends a change in an annual rate that high would be a high number. Maybe it was anomalous with 2007 a record bad year, so a slight decline nothing to be excited about. Yet 2007 was not a record year and according to the same source foreclosures were 2.1% lower than the year before that even. That didn't make the headline. I wonder how many regions in the nation have had two consecutive years of declining foreclosures. At the very least, sub 4000 foreclosures in a year is the lowest in at least the last few years and look to be trending downward.

Real estate values even went up in the region for 2008. Not much, +1% according to the RealStats data being reported on, but in a world where double digit declines last year were better than most regions could even hope for, that's pretty good.


Blogger illyrias said...

No worries. The ever-so-optimistic Trib found some bad breaking news for you:

New home construction in the region fell 19.6%

"The city posted second highest total of detached new units in the region, and saw its overall new construction total increase by 24.6 percent to 440 units, Burd said."

Friday, January 23, 2009 11:51:00 AM  

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