PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When marketing executive Jaime Cooper moved back to Pittsburgh, he decided to buy a new townhouse in Lawrenceville.
“It’s a very historic part of Pittsburgh coupled with the young people moving in and all the restaurants going in up on Butler Street. It’s just an area that kind of fit,” Cooper said.
Throughout the country, young people are moving back to the cities in droves and the City of Pittsburgh has one of the hottest housing markets in the nation.
No neighborhood is hotter than Lawrenceville.
In fact, according the real estate research group RealSTATs, the average sale price of a house in Lawrenceville jumped from $34,124 in the year 2000 to $160,013 last year — an increase of 369 percent.
Cooper plunked down close to $400,000 for his.
It’s harder to get a bargain not just in the city, but throughout the region. Over that period, the price of an average house in Allegheny County rose from $84,000 to $134,000 – an increase of 59 percent.
Upscale housing in the North Hills is on that same trajectory.
In Pine Township, the average price has climbed from $309,293 to $466,721 as new construction and suburban charms continue to draw.
Buoyed by a tech boom, energy jobs in the Marcellus Shale and employment in education and medical fields, housing throughout the region is in high demand.
Since 2000, the average house has increased in value by more than 4 percent every year. This year, the prices have gone up another 8 percent and Hoddy Hanna says next year, they should do just as well.
“It’s been incredible. The last three or four years in particular have been the greatest growth that I’ve seen in my 40 years in the business. In values, in real value appreciating in every price range and virtually every neighborhood throughout southwestern Pennsylvania,” he said.
But, not every town has benefited.
In the Mon Valley and in the older suburbs that ring the city, prices have stagnated. In some cases, they have even gone down.
But, that’s not the case is growth areas like Cranberry and Adams Townships.
PPG accountant Erin McGroarty is a first-time home buyer who believes that in addition to be a nice a place to live, her townhouse in Adams Ridge will be a solid investment.
“The sun sets every night over the back corner. It’s great to watch. You sit out here, it’s really peaceful,” McGroarty said.
So, if you’ve owned a house here in the Pittsburgh region for the past decade, it’s turned out to be a pretty good piggy bank and it should be for the foreseeable future.