"Anyone who's shopping for a home in the Pittsburgh area needs to be ready to move lightning quick," said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker.By Kristine Sorensen

PITTSBURGH (KDKAK) — The Pittsburgh area had the highest increase in home sales in a week out of the top 50 cities this month.

Zillow reports that newly pending sales for the first week of September are 61.2 percent higher than last year and 19.5 percent higher over the previous week.

The “for sale” signs are everywhere, but they’re not up for long. Homes around our region are going under contract in just eight days compared to an average of 14 days this time last year.

“Anyone who’s shopping for a home in the Pittsburgh area needs to be ready to move lightning quick because your competitors are right now,” said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker.

Tucker says there are a lot of reasons why. Rent has remained the same, while low-interest rates have made homes less expensive.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“In Pittsburgh, you are likely saving money if you can move from renting to owning,” Tucker says.

As a result, many Millennials are accelerating a move that they were going to make in the next few years anyway. Plus, with more people working from home, needs are changing.

“They are looking for space. They’re looking for a yard. People want a room where they can make Zoom calls without their toddler running in the back door behind them. That’s very important to people at the moment,” Tucker says.

But with housing inventory in the Pittsburgh region down 23.7 percent compared to last year, and demand up, home prices are rising. The median sale price here is $197,238 — 7.8 percent higher than this time last year.

But it’s still better here than in most other metropolitan areas. Homes in the Pittsburgh region are still more affordable than in most of the 50 largest metro areas in the country.

Kristine Sorensen