If you’re about to start the process of buying a house in Pittsburgh, then you’ll be pleased to know that the city is currently a very strong housing market. House prices are also considerably lower in comparison to the national average, meaning that the city is ideal for both low-income and first-time buyers.
However, the Pittsburgh area is rather large in size, with a diverse range of neighborhoods to choose from. If you’re unsure as to which part of Pittsburgh you want to live, we’ve listed the five best neighborhoods in 2019.
Pittsburgh Housing Market: The Current State Of Play
Before we discuss the best five neighborhoods to live in, it is well worth taking a brief look at the wider Pittsburgh housing market. Median property prices grew by a very healthy 9.1% last year. With U.S. properties growing by just 6.1% in the same period, Pittsburgh is outperforming the country by quite a bit.
Pittsburgh properties are expected to grow by a further 5.5% over the next 12 months. Although this represents a slowdown in growth, these levels are still higher than the forecasted national average of 4.1%.
Although the above growth levels are attractive to real estate investors, it is important to note that median property prices are still very cost-effective. With a median price of just $152,600, homes are approximately $73,400 cheaper than the national average.
Ultimately, Pittsburgh not only represents a housing market that is experiencing strong growth levels, but property prices are well within reach for low-income and first-time buyers. However, certain Pittsburgh neighborhoods are stronger than others in this respect, which is why you should assess the strengths and weaknesses of the housing market on a regional basis.
1. Squirrel Hill
If you're looking for one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, then you might want to check out Squirrel Hill. The residential neighborhood has a population of just over 11,000 and is strategically located just five minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.
Squirrel Hill is home to over 1,100 acres of parks, hundreds of eateries, and a very low crime rate. However, if you do choose Squirrel Hill, expect to pay a whopping median property price of $602,200. Appreciation growth is stagnant too, with properties growing by just 3.8% last year.
2. North Oakland
If you're purely motivated by the prospect of growth, then you might want to consider North Oakland. This particular Pittsburgh neighborhood experienced growth of 15.5% last year. It is forecasted that prices will increase by an additional 6.2% over the next 12 months. Although this is a considerable drop, this is still higher than expected growth levels Pittsburgh-wide.
Expect to pay a premium in North Oakland in comparison to the city average, with median property prices now at $287,400. On the downside, the unemployment rate is slightly higher in North Oakland in comparison to the city average. While Pittsburgh reached a 50 year low in January 2019 at 3.8%, North Oakland currently stands at 5.9%.
If you're looking to buy a property in Pittsburgh as a low-income buyer, then it is worth taking a look at Brookline. With a population of just under 13,000, Brookline currently has a median property price of just $136,800.
This makes it one of the most cost-effective neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Don't be fooled into thinking that low property prices equates to poor growth prospects. On the contrary, median property prices grew by 11.5% last year, with a 4.9% growth forecasted over the next 12 months.
This somewhat perfect combination of low property prices and high appreciation levels has led to strong demand in Brookline. Research suggests that Brookline homes take an average of just 54 days to sell from the date of listing.
If you thought that North Oakland offered the perfect combination of cost-effective house prices with strong growth levels, then you should take a look at Beechview. The region is currently home to a median property price of just $106,000. This not only makes it one of the lowest priced areas in Pittsburgh, but nationwide.
In terms of growth prospects, Beechview properties grew by 14.2% last year, which more than doubled the national average. Properties are expected to grow by a further 6.1% next year, which again will outpace the U.S. average.
Beechview provide its residents with excellent public transport, good schools, and a diverse population of just over 7,000 people.
Shadyside is also one of the most sought after areas in Pittsburgh. The area is jam-packed with greenery, boutique hotels and bars, fancy eateries, and shops. However, moving to Shadyside won't come cheap, with median property prices now standing at $380,900.
Appreciation growth is much slower in comparison to Pittsburgh averages, with properties growing by 5.6% last year. This is also expected to be the case next year, with prices forecasted to grow by just 3.3%.
5 Best Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh - The Verdict?
Pittsburgh as a real estate marketplace is currently growing at a much faster rate in comparison to the national average. Alongside highly affordable median home values, Pittsburgh is an attractive area for both low-income and first-time buyers.
Clever can connect you with an experienced real estate agent based in the Pittsburgh area. They’ll have extensive knowledge of the specific region you’re interested in, and they can guide you through the entire buying process.