Jason Cohen Nexus Real Estate

Jason Cohen is the Head of Operations for Nexus Real Estate in Pittsburgh. A real estate investment professional with decades of experience, Jason Cohen knows Pittsburgh and contributes regularly to local news publications. Below Jason Cohen talks about the recent designation of Pittsburgh as being one of the nation’s hottest real estate markets.

Now is a great time to sell your home. The only issue is you may not be able to find a new one.

The United States real estate market is on a burning hot streak. In 2021, an estimated 6 million homes were sold, the highest volume of sales in 15 years. And, you guessed it, costs have gone up, too.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency says average home prices soared about 20% compared to the 2020 — and those homes were sold rapidly.

In fact, Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate reports a whopping 78% of real estate markets across the country reported price increases for homes in the double-digits.

Pittsburgh has solidified its place as a hot real estate market over the past few years. According to Zillow, over the past 10 years, Pittsburgh’s median home prices appreciated by over 102%, from $110,000 to $222,000.

The values of Pittsburgh’s homes have jumped 14.6% over the past year. It’s estimated to continue its rise in 2022 by another 15%.

What is keeping Pittsburgh real estate so hot? It’s complicated.

It’s Still Considered Affordable

Yes, home prices in Pittsburgh were up 5% in 2022 compared to the previous year, but that leads to a median price somewhere in the $215,000 to $222,000 area.

Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate explains that relatively low number (especially compared to other hot real estate markets) makes Pittsburgh appealing to not just young professionals and young families, but also an increasing number of Baby Boomers.

Pittsburgh was recently ranked No. 1 in Knock.com’s list of top Baby Boomer markets, singling out its large number of retirement communities, lower cost of living, and excellent healthcare offerings.

New home construction is still strong in the city and provides options ranging from $250,000 townhouses to larger single-family homes in hot neighborhoods like Brookline, Brighton Heights, and Carrick according to Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate.

And while a home in Squirrel Hill North, Pittsburgh’s most expensive neighborhood, goes for an average of $660,000, the nearby neighborhood of Sheraden boasts a median home price of just $125,000.

Jason Cohen Nexus Real Estate

Great Jobs and Great Schools

Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate explains that at one point, much of Pittsburgh worked within its landmark industrial market, especially steel. That’s very much a thing of the past, with Pittsburgh now home to a range of great industries to choose from, including technology and energy, as well as finance and healthcare.

And those looking to work remotely and move to a breath-of-fresh-air town have been attracted to Pittsburgh’s thriving downtown but also its picturesque surroundings of beautiful farmland and mountains.

For families, Pittsburgh’s secondary education options are highly regarded, and its large number of universities (including Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh) is attracting a diverse population.

As many as half of those who come to Pittsburgh for college have decided to stay in the city they’ve grown to love after graduation according to Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate.

Rentals Continue to Thrive

With so many great colleges comes a need for good apartments. Part of the reason why Pittsburgh’s real estate market is so hot is that rentals continue to be very popular.

As of December 2021, the average 1-bedroom apartment rent within the city is $1,225. That’s a 14% jump compared to 2020. The average two-bedroom apartment goes for $1,395 a month on average (an 8% yearly increase), while a three-bedroom apartment runs an average of $1,650 (a 6% increase).

Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate says the average rent of a four-bedroom apartment rose 5% to $1,999. It’s no wonder that Pittsburgh was ranked No. 7 on a recent Huffington Post list of the top 10 best places to be a landlord.

Taxes Are Comparatively Low

A real estate market can go from cold to hot and vice versa based on property taxes. Pittsburgh lies in Allegheny Country, which has a 2.16% property tax rate. While that’s higher than the national average, it’s actually pretty good when looking at other large cities.

Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate notes that makes Pittsburgh particularly appealing to those who want to move into a big city neighborhood but are concerned about the overall cost. The median home price for a sale in Allegheny County was around $227,000 this past year.

Infrastructure Has Improved

There’s a lot that’s attracting home buyers to Pittsburgh, what part of what keeps them there are the city’s vast improvements over the decade. Gone is its reputation as a dingy steel town according to Jason Cohen of Nexus Real Estate.

Neighborhoods have been transformed thanks to the diverse industries in the area, local public transportation has been reimagined and is now affordable and accessible and a bridge repair program is in the works.

Thinking of setting up shop in Pittsburgh? You’re far from alone.


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