Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Real estate stream of consciousness

So we start with the Trib: East Liberty Target counts on food shoppers.  Points for mentioning Mansmann's department store.  How come nobody ever mentions any of the Autenreith's that were all around town?

Which just makes me wonder... how many residential townhomes could you fit within the footprint of the Shakespeare St. Giant Eagle? or I suppose of the entire Shady Hill Plaza where it sits is the better question. Just idle, and hypothetical mind you, questions is all.

Speaking of real estate.  Nationally the news of late has been almost universally bad with mostly accelerating declines went it comes to the state of real estate markets. See just a few headlines:

MSNBC: The housing slump is far worse than you think-Key housing market statistics point to years of stagnation

BloombergBusinessWeek: The Housing Horror Show Is Worse Than You Think

WashPo: Shiller Says U.S. Housing Market `Stuck in the Doldrums'

Yet our news today is sublimely understated. PG: Home Values Rise in Region.  Do the division and the annual % increase is really quite remarkable in absolute terms, but in light of what is happening everywhere else is another thing altogether.  Given low inflation, the 'real' real estate appreciation here continues to be unprecedented in the region's history.   Some headlines still emphasize slow transaction flow: PBT:Pittsburgh region home sales down in June (and I am not sure what the 'average median home price' is quoted in that piece means), but again I am not sure transaction flow as a metric means as much as some think.  What if transaction flows are down because the demand out there can't find a local supply of real estate it is looking for? What would you expect to see?   Rising values maybe?  Then there is this big national issue that so many folks elsewhere are trapped in underwater mortgages that they can't sell and move on which is probably a big part of what is going on. 

To complete the trifecta the Trib headline is conflicted: Home sales dip, but average prices rise, but buried in it may be the true headline of it all in a quote from a local real estate professional saying "prices continue to appreciate despite fewer sales because there are fewer, low-priced foreclosed properties on the market". If true, that is the story.  I have not seen enough data to either concur or not, but in many ways I am the last to find out these things.


Anonymous The Wiz said...

Pittsburgh placed as the sixth best housing market on a CNBC national study.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 8:45:00 AM  
Blogger David Passmore said...

We're going to hear a lot of complaints about the parking/traffic situation at Target. As little as I like Shady Hill Plaza, the parking/traffic situation isn't a problem for people. The parking level at Target is cool, but one lane to enter and one to exit (so close to the main intersection at Penn) is going to create some congestion issues.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:38:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Wasn't the decline in sales volume prodromal to the decline in prices in other markets? Not that Pittsburgh has had nearly as large of a decline in volume as other areas.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:47:00 AM  
Blogger RoboticGhost said...

a quote from a local real estate professional saying "prices continue to appreciate despite fewer sales because there are fewer, low-priced foreclosed properties on the market".

Really? Foreclosure rates wobbled up and down through the recession, but remained relatively stable in the area. At least that's my understanding. I could be wrong, but this explanation rings a little hollow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:57:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...


ok.. I had to look that up. Will use that someday when trying to sound erudite.

In general I sort of agree that the perception of foreclosure rates in the region is not what the data shows over recent years and the recession impact has not been the story there. That's not to say there were no foreclosure sales, there always are, and there has been some transactions related to the financial bust and related convulsions... So if indeed he is really seeing fewer distressed sales in the region.. fewer than the levels we are at.. then it would be a big story to a degree. But it may be perception to a degree if indeed the prior is that we had some big surge in foreclosure related selling.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous n'at said...

We are defeating the terrorists, when an American bitches about parking.

You squeeze out car parks, you'll reduce the range of shoppers and thusly create a demand for neighborhood corner stores.

Pittsburgh MSA never had an immigrant demand for new housing, it has always been one school district or another fighting over pupils and lowtax fiefdoms cannibalizing regional economic development funds. No house flipping multimillionaires in this area.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...


Sorry. I went to work with the medical people and picked up words.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

Also, I don't know if you remember him from when he was at St. Paul's a few years ago, but Fr. Burke made the news for chasing an armed robber.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

dude is marrying me next year.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I suppose that should be reworded...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 4:39:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Either way, congratulations.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 4:42:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

"....not that there's anything wrong with that."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:10:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

true headline of it all in a quote from a local real estate professional saying "prices continue to appreciate despite fewer sales because there are fewer, low-priced foreclosed properties on the market".

condominiums in the philippines,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 4:47:00 AM  

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