For a 12th straight month there have been year-over-year increases in home sales for the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington and Westmoreland counties all experienced dollar gains in existing home sales.
Dan Murrer, Vice President of RealSTATS, which complied and analyzed the information, said the numbers are strong indications that the market is finally picking up. “So in September 2012, we had 2,209 home sales, and that’s up from 2,081 home sales in September of 2011,” Murrer said. The number of homes sold rose by 7.8 percent and the amount spent increased by 13.5 percent for existing homes
However, the news wasn't so good for the construction industry as new home sales fell 12.8 percent in the five-county region. A total of 143 new units were sold last month compared to 164 in September 2011. The sales of the new homes generated $44.4 million down from $52.7 million a year ago. The price of a new home declined from $321,359 to $310,346.
Murrer said the existing home market has a slight advantage over buyers who are looking to build. “There is a possibility that existing homes are more attractive to homebuyers today than a new home. New homes typically costs more, especially on a per-square-foot basis, than an existing home,” Murrer said.
RealSTATS gathered its information from deeds and tax assessment records and the report is based on the sales of homes, townhomes, and duplexes with a price of at least $10,000. The statistics do not include private contracts or lot transfers with contracts to build.