Warmer weather is on its way, and in addition to the return of singing birds and flowers blooming, one thing that residents here in Pittsburgh will surely notice this springtime, are an abundance of new “For Sale” signs popping up all over homes throughout the region.
Several indicators contribute to the increase in activity during the spring months. Below are a list of factors to consider when contemplating selling or buying a home during the spring season.
Market trends: Throughout the last couple years, sellers and buyers have noticed a steady annual increase in property values throughout the Pittsburgh housing market. The Pittsburgh housing market trends indicate an increase of approximately 5% in median homes sales over the past year. Affordable housing below the national average, coupled with an increase in employment, improving economic conditions, as well as several urban revitalization projects underway, has made Pittsburgh one of the most desirable housing markets in the nation.
Home prices on the rise as mortgage rates approach historic lows: With mortgage rates hovering around 3.5%, buyers are growing more confident in their purchasing power and desirability to own rather than rent. In addition to the nearly historically low interest rates, credit requirements have begun to loosen up as well. New government lending programs have been introduced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as a reduction in mortgage insurance rates, all of which have made buying homes a little easier than in years past.
Less competition from investors: As the foreclosure market slows and the investors start backing off because of rising real estate prices and the increase in competition among owner occupants, sellers are now finding themselves in a comfortable time of year to begin marketing their homes.
Shortage of New Construction: Most of the housing market here in Pittsburgh has been established for well over 50 years, and with a shortage of available land, developers find themselves having trouble finding places to build new homes. With limited available land, the new construction price tends to be much higher than existing homes. This in return, provides the existing homes and home owners with a higher demand for their properties.