Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Tale of Two Markets

When I say writing matters, it's no joke.  I still am trying to figure how these two headlines represent reporting on the same exact new data:

Trib:  Western Pennsylvania home sales plummet during May

PG: House Sales in Region Rise in May

Good thing everyone reads more than the headlines. 

Ignore the meta for the moment.  The data out there on the local real estate market is getting interesting beyond the generally positive trends that is getting more and more notice nationally.  The fact that average prices are accelarating so much more than median prices here for residental real estate could be quite significant.  It probably correlates with the faster appreciation for new homes compared to existing homes that is being reported as well.  

If we are seeing some marginal improvement in population migration into the region, then it follows those folks might be in the market for homes. Do the numbers suggest that the existing housing supply in the region is not what these new residents are looking for.  That is my best hypothesis how we have a bifurcated market to the degree we do with ample supply of for lack of a euphemism we will call low-end housing... but at the same time a lack of supply in what the average US home buyer wants.

Just a hypothesis, but whatever the answer is, it is awfully important and would have lots of implications for growth patterns within the region and possibly overall regional growth.  It all would fit with what is another known known that residential real estate construction has been on life support here for decades.  Lack of new supply has resulted in one of the oldest housing stocks in the nation.  In that sense we have decades of catching up to do before the local real estate market can supply what is common elsewhere. 

Speaking of writing...  another headline today:  "Pittsburgh, Worldwide economic powerhouse". Not over the top is it?  Maybe it is time for Westsylvania to actually secede?


Anonymous DBR96A said...

This is part of why the population has been dropping in areas with older housing and rising in areas with newer housing: most of the older housing in the area does not have the amenities that homebuyers expect today. Pittsburgh has a glut of older housing and a shortage of newer housing. I guess this is what we get for pretending until about five years ago that Pittsburgh is a nothing but a city of paupers. It'll be awhile before the demand for $250K+ homes in the region is sated.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 8:34:00 AM  
Anonymous n'at said...

I'd accept the newcomers who choose city living, buy that older home and throw another $50k into rehabilitation and upgrades, over the latter.

The latter are white collar migrants who will no doubt settle on a turnkey exurb dwelling. By ensuring slow and steady growth, you attract and retain those who really want to live and contribute.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:24:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

I'd accept the newcomers who choose city living...

Thanks, that means a lot to me.

I'd accept Pittsburgh, if they pave my road this year or if we can a U.S. attorney/district attorney who can successfully prosecute a local elected official.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:40:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

"or if we can get..."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:40:00 AM  

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