We Featured Them — Now Whatever Happened to These Hot … – Pittsburgh Magazine

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It’s been a busy fall for Pittsburgh’s housing market, with low housing stock and high interest rates creating a climate that can feel both competitive and slow — depending on what you’re selling. 

Hot Property has featured a variety of houses in the last few months, ranging from the affordable to the aspirational, so we decided to catch up and see where some of Pittsburgh’s trending properties ended up as 2023 draws to a close. Local realtors and lenders also weighed in what buyers and sellers can expect from the region’s housing market as we enter a new year. 

Buy/sell, rent/lease residential &
commercials real estate properties.

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The Homes

In East Liberty, realtor Sarah Madia says she has had a busy year, although one of her favorite listings, a contemporary home at 5727 Hays St., is still for sale. 

“I would say 2023 is ending on a high note,” she says. 

While she sees many buyers typically prepare their homes for a spring sale, some are getting a jump now to prepare for early 2024. Madia also is hustling to get folks into their new homes before the holidays. 

“I have multiple houses going under agreement this month at various price points,” she says. “I also have had numerous buyers reach out to start their search.”

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Downtown, 951 Liberty Ave. also is still awaiting sale, says Rosina Scalamogna. Her client has dropped the price on the home to $294,500, which she says is more in line with other properties in the neighborhood. 

While there has been interest in the condo, Scalamogna some buyers cite concern with rumors of crime in the neighborhood, a hot topic managing editor Sean Collier recently addressed here

Scalamonga also cites financial difficulties for some buyers in a multi-unit building. 

“Condos are more difficult to sell, as you need a buyer who is putting 20% down or all cash,” she says. “Due to the size of the condo, this is more of a first-time buyer home, which makes it more of a challenge.”

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In Dormont, realtor Bob Dini is happy to report a sale is underway for the massive. well-kept historical home at 274 Glenmore Ave. that caused a social media frenzy when Hot Property first featured it. 

There was an earlier offer on the home, but the two parties could not come to an agreement on terms; the current buyer is expected to close in early December. 

Dini says the real estate market in Dormont (where he also lives) has been excellent for nearly a decade, and remains hot due to its close proximity to Downtown and easy access to public transportation. 

“This has made Dormont Borough a focal point of many coming from the eastern cities of DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston, who tend to be more accustomed to this style and era of homes, with this walkable lifestyle and optimal proximity to the city center of our Golden Triangle,” he says. 

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The white brick home at 9116 Frankstown Road in Penn Hills with two primary suites also went under contract quickly, as did this North Side townhouse at 1213 Resaca Place, where Roberto Clemente once played catch. 

A few featured homes have gone back off the market, including this tidy Aspinwall bungalow at 309 Highland Terrace and a three-story Regent Square home at 1434 LaClair Ave., although it is now available to rent. 

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In Ben Avon, the stunning Colonial-style home at 169 Irwin Ave, has continued to be a local favorite. The current owner, Jennifer Waters, grew up playing and swimming at the six-bedroom house with an in-ground pool. When it was time for their family to move on, another neighbor snapped up the house. 

“The buyer actually grew up next door. Her and her husband now have six kids and needed to upsize from their Emsworth home,” Waters says. 

Waters has since listed the family’s Emsworth home, too. After all, Pittsburgh is one big small town. 

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The Market

Waters calls this current market a “historic phenomenon,” given the high rates and low availability. She says those factors have created what is officially a seller’s market, but has also allowed buyers to be a bit picky. 

Looking ahead into the new year, many of these factors will converge to create a vibrant and active market. 

“I anticipate that 2024 will be a more normal year in real estate,” says Madia. “Buyers will have homes they will be able to choose from — and we won’t see the escalated frenzy that was experienced during the highs of the pandemic.” 

She also says sellers should no longer expect the bidding wars that allowed them to overlook needed upgrades and repairs. “Buyers are being pickier and sellers will need to respond,” she says. 

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Dini agrees there will be less bidding wars in the new year, adding he doesn’t think the current high interest rates will slow folks down. 

“Despite the mortgage interest rates being in the 6’s today, this remains far below the median rates of the past 50 years of 7.41 % for a 30 yr conventional mortgage,” he says. “We all have been a bit spoiled by the historically low rates of the 2020-2022 time frame, but now the market is poised to offer some great opportunities for those who were not ready to purchase during the pandemic era and want to begin the dream of home ownership and building equity in their future.” 

Leitera encourages buyers to begin looking now if they are considering an early 2024 purchase. Although housing stock remains low, that’s long been a Pittsburgh problem, she says. 

“This time of year is ideal to begin your home search because you have less buyers on the market, and homes that have been sitting will often have highly motivated sellers,” she says. “Once the spring market arrives, you’ll find more buyers out.” 

Ext House

Leitera agrees with Dini that interest rates shouldn’t scare buyers away. 

“Once we walk through owning the home versus the amount they are putting into rent, those fears fade quickly for practicality,” she says. “Interest rates can be refinanced, so when the ultimate goal is home ownership, finding the right house shouldn’t be put aside until rates come down.” 

It’s likely rates won’t remain this high, either, says Nicole Grimm of Movement Mortgage. “I think in 2024 we will see rates start to steadily decline as inflation declines and we see continued weakening within the labor market,” she says. “It’s likely that the Feds’ tune in 2024 is going to change from raising rates to potentially cutting them by the second half of the year.” 

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