Pittsburgh Foreclosures Dropped, but Prices Are Still Low

by on cities

Pittsburgh foreclosures continued to decrease in 2009, but price discounts continued to be among the biggest in the county, based on a report released by real estate information provider RealSTATS.

In the 5-county Pittsburgh metro area, a total of 3,948 houses were foreclosed upon in 2009, the third straight year that foreclosure activity declined in the area since 2006 when the peak number of 5,228 homes was reached. The metro area covers Beaver, Allegheny, Washington, Butler and Westmoreland.

The median sales price for bank property foreclosures in 2009 was $119,900, a slight rise of 1.6 percent compared to the 2008 median of $118,000, but the price level was still at a big discount compared to the price of non-foreclosures.

The average sales price for all homes sold in 2009 was $147,600, a drop of 2 percent from $150,558, the average sales price in 2008.

Despite the drop in average sales price, both home sales volume and sales in dollars in the Pittsburgh metro area continued to drop in 2009, falling for the 5th straight year.

A total of 24,293 houses were sold in 2009, a drop from the 26,020 houses sold in 2008. Total sales in 2009 amounted to $3.59 billion, down from the total sales of $3.9 billion in 2008.

In a report released by another real estate firm, it was stated that Pittsburgh foreclosures in the residential sector were priced 59 percent lower than non-foreclosures with similar characteristics, the biggest price discount among 16 large metro markets analyzed.

The average price discount for the 16 markets was 28 percent, with the differences in home attributes considered. Without incorporating the differences in attributes, the average price discount was 42 percent.

However, the number of foreclosure homes in Pittsburgh is not as large as in the other metro markets analyzed. The percentage of foreclosure sales in the area has been declining since 2006. In November, the foreclosure percentage was only 8 percent of all home sales.

In 2009, as reported by a California real estate information company, foreclosure activity in Pittsburgh slowed by nearly 8 percent, with the city posting only 9,220 default notices and foreclosure filings. The number represented only 0.8 percent of all housing units in the area.

In contrast, the pace of foreclosures in Pennsylvania in 2009 stepped up with 44,732 foreclosure postings. The number marked a 20.2-percent increase from 2008 and a 173-percent increase from 2007.

Similar to the rate of Pittsburgh foreclosures, statewide foreclosures in 2009 also represented only 0.8 percent of all households throughout the state.

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