The number of homes placed under agreement and the average home sale price in southwestern Pennsylvania showed improvement in March over the same month a year ago. That's according to West Penn Multi-List, Inc., a real estate service company.
In March 2012, the number of homes placed under agreement increased 20% from a year ago, and home prices went up 1.25%.
"Where in lots of parts of the country average sale prices are dropping 10%, 15%, 20%, in southwestern Pennsylvania we've been really stable, and that has been a good thing for the overall economy," said West Penn Multi-List President Ron Croushore.
The housing situation in the region has, overall, fared better than other parts of the country. While many other areas have seen markets flooded with too many properties and not enough buyers, the opposite is true for the 13-county area serviced by the West Penn Multi-List.
"There's a lot of inventory that's on the market in Florida and places outside of southwestern Pennsylvania, but we actually need homes for sale, we actually need all prices levels of homes because we have low interest rates and the affordability factor is really high for our area," said Croushore.
He doesn't expect the positive growth to slow any time in the near future, and said that's a good thing, since the housing market is one of the bloodlines of the economy.
"As homes sales go up, it creates jobs, it creates construction jobs, peoples' need for furniture, upholstery, carpet, and landscaping, and roof work, and plumbers, so I think any time we have a good housing market it helps keep people employed," added Croushore.
West Penn Multi-List serves Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene, Clarion, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, and Indiana Counties.