Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I regret to report what is awful news for the Pittsburgh region. By yet another metric out there, local real estate prices are growing faster than most anywhere else in the nation. If the folks who look at real estate data do not stop spreading such misinformation about the region than who knows what bad things may result. Once Pittsburgh housing markets gain much more against some of our regional competitors we will not be able to tout the low cost housing here in the region. Most rankings of regional quality of life or similar things place a disproportionate rank on housing affordability which certainly is going to suffer as a result. We will have to drop on all those rankings. It could be really bad. What can be do to stop this? Where is Richard Nixon when you need him? I am sure there is some form of price control that might be helpful.
Even if you discount the fact that most real estate markets nationally are continuing to decline, it is remarkable news for Pittsburgh. Most other markets are not expected to seer ebounds until 2014!? Yet Pittsburgh is on the opposite tract altogether. At +3.9% over just the first part of the year, you are really talking a really rapid rise in prices at an annual clip. Not sure Pittsburgh has seen that in some time. If you then account for the low inflation of late compared to past decades, you have to ask yourself if real estate is the fastest period of real housing value for the region since ???
And then there is the impact on property assessments in Allegheny County which generally have been showing some of the stronger gains within the region. It means, among other things, that any delay in property assessments will only result in ever larger jumps in assessed values. Right now the county must be using recent sales price transaction data through the end of 2010 and going back a couple years I bet. If that window of data gets pushed to the right it could mean significantly higher assessed values.. especially for some homeowners since I am sure the appreciation is not uniform across the region.