Thursday, August 18, 2011

You gotta disbelieve

The title was going to be for a baseball post, but then I saw the latest stories on Pittsburgh region real estate prices. Baseball geeks can probably deduce what the baseball comment was going to be unfortunately.  For real estate we have something really odd continuing. The Trib's headline is not the first, but may be an escalation in some peculiar cognitive dissonance.  The title of the article is: Housing Sales in Pittsburgh Region Continue to Decline.

That headline is true enough, but if you read the story you see it is reporting local real estate values increased by over 8% and 5% in terms of median and average prices year over year.

+8.3% and +5.6% to be precise..... when comparing to national real estate prices which are continuing to plummet, why is the headline about a very marginal decline in the number of sales.  I still am not so sure the number of sales is inherently a good or bad metric for a region, important as it may be to the livelihood of individual real estate brokers or sales agents.    

I've said this before, but when you factor in the relatively low inflation level of late, the 'real' real estate appreciation going on in Pittsburgh must be maintaining a near record pace. 


Anonymous BrianTH said...

There probably is some optimal amount of sales consistent with a certain rate of household formation, migration, and so forth, but I have no idea what that would be.

Incidentally, June 2010 was the last month of the of homebuyer tax credit, which likely also biased sold prices a bit lower. If there was a bit of a residual effect in July it could be a factor in these year over year numbers (which is not to suggest there is no appreciation at all--just maybe not at those crazy rates).

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