Pittsburgh Bank Foreclosures, Unemployment Still Rising

by on Foreclosure Crisis

The number of Pittsburgh bank foreclosures and unemployment continue to rise for the first half of this year. The city of Pittsburgh ranked 134th among metropolitan areas in the country in terms of foreclosure rate.

From January to July this year, the number of foreclosure filings totaled 5,830, with one in every 190 homeowners or 0.53 percent going into foreclosure process. The foreclosure rate for the first six months rose by 14.49 percent compared with the same period the previous year.

Similarly, the unemployment rate in the Pittsburgh region continues to rise. Last month, the seven-county region posted a 7.8 percent unemployment rate. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the region’s unemployment rate in August was the 11th monthly consecutive increase.

But despite the rise in unemployment, industry experts said that the region is still better off compared with the state average. They noted that the unemployment rate increased in a slow pace for the past five months. Furthermore, the region’s unemployment rate is still below the state average of 8.6 percent and 9.7 percent national average.

They have the same sentiment when it comes to the number of Pittsburgh bank foreclosures. They noted that the foreclosure trend for the most part of the year went up but it drop by 5 percent in August to 323. The number of foreclosure filings totaled 5,766 and sales add up to 567.

Industry experts said that as with other areas in the country where foreclosure is rising, unemployment is the factor that exacerbates the problem. In the Pittsburgh region, the unemployment rate in August was higher by 2.5 percent compared with the same month last year when it posted 5.3 percent.

They noted that the biggest job losses occurred in the service provider segment, with 1,000 in health and education services and 1,400 in government services.

Meanwhile, home sales in the region dropped by 1.6 percent in August, compared with the same month a year ago. For houses selling over $250,000, the sales dropped by 11 percent. Additionally, the average home price in the region was down by 2.4 percent to $157,988 while the median price of a property increased to $125,000 or 1.4 percent.

Industry experts said that the drop in home sales may be due to potential buyers’ economic and employment uncertainties.