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Reed Pirain Discusses How Pittsburgh’s Real Estate Market is Adapting to Young Buyers

Reed Pirain

Reed Pirain is a Pittsburgh native and real estate agent working with a diverse range of clientele, from new homeowners to seasoned real estate investors. Reed Pirain is also the Founder of NextHome PPM Realty, a premier real estate firm in his own hometown. In the following article, Reed Pirain offers a guide to affordable homes and millennial-friendly features for young home buyers, exploring how they cater to the preferences and priorities of this demographic.

Pittsburgh, once known as a steel industry giant, has transformed into an attractive destination for young homebuyers. The city’s real estate market has been adapting to better meet their needs by offering affordability, convenience, and a variety of housing options.

Reed Pirain Understands the Young Buyer’s Mindset

Young buyers exhibit distinct preferences and face individual challenges in their home search. However, Pittsburgh’s remarkably varied and affordable housing market provides a wealth of understanding about these buyers’ desires, such as affordability, location preferences, and the role that technology plays for young buyers in Pittsburgh’s real estate market.

Affordability Concerns

The cost of a home is often the top concern for young buyers, many of whom are grappling with student loan debt and financial constraints. Pittsburgh’s lower median home price of $250,000 offers an attractive option for these buyers. In some neighborhoods, such as Sheraden, house prices start as low as $95,000, providing even more affordable options. With house prices dropping, this trend is only expected to continue, making the area even more appealing to potential buyers in the near future. Additionally, the median sale price in Pittsburgh remains competitive in comparison to that of other cities.

Reed Pirain explains how, given the median annual income of $82,170 for young buyers in the city, Pittsburgh’s reasonably priced real estate market is particularly attractive to those planning to buy their first home. Coupled with a thriving job market and rich cultural attractions, the city presents an ideal setting for young buyers to establish their homes.

Location Preferences

Millennials and Gen Z buyers prioritize convenience and access to amenities, public transportation, and job opportunities when it comes to selecting a location. Walkability is of utmost importance, with research indicating that younger generations are willing to pay a premium for a home as long as it is in a walkable neighborhood.

Reed Pirain adds that job opportunities also play a significant role in the location preferences of young home buyers. They often prioritize areas with:

  • Promising job prospects
  • Numerous career opportunities
  • Minimal commute times
  • Access to a variety of job options

As Pittsburgh continues to grow as a technology hub, the city offers an array of opportunities for young professionals, further enhancing its attractiveness as a home-buying destination.

Technology and Convenience

In today’s digital world, young buyers value technology, both in the home-buying process and in the homes themselves. Real estate agents have embraced social media and digital tools to connect with potential buyers and showcase their listings.

Reed Pirain also notes that these young home buyers show a profound interest in properties equipped with smart home features like Nest Learning Thermostats, Lutron Caséta Wireless systems, and Doorbell Cameras. These advanced features align with the technologically inclined preferences of this generation, and their prominence is predicted to continue increasing in the future.

Adapting Home Offerings for Young Buyers

Reed Pirain

As the needs and preferences of young buyers evolve, Pittsburgh’s real estate market is adapting by offering smaller, more efficient homes with flexible living spaces and community amenities. These features cater to the modern lifestyle of first-time homebuyers, providing them with more personalized, convenient options.

Smaller, More Efficient Homes

Smaller homes with energy-efficient features are becoming increasingly popular among young professionals. These homes offer numerous benefits, such as lower purchase prices, reduced maintenance costs, and a smaller environmental footprint. In fact, Reed Pirain remarks that the typical cost of a small, energy-efficient home in Pittsburgh can range from $175 to $180 per square foot, making them far more accessible to young buyers with limited budgets.

Energy-efficient features such as solar panels, insulation, and energy-saving appliances can lead to considerable savings in electricity costs over time. By focusing on sustainability and efficiency, young buyers in Pittsburgh can experience the benefits of homeownership without straining their finances.

Flexible Living Spaces

Reed Pirain reports that the demand for flexible living spaces is on the rise, with couples and families seeking homes that can adapt to their evolving lifestyles. Home offices, multi-purpose rooms, and customizable floor plans are all attractive options for those who value the ability to modify their living spaces as needed. As remote work becomes more prevalent, those in the market are increasingly prioritizing homes with dedicated office spaces and high-speed internet.

In response to this increasing demand, Pittsburgh’s real estate market offers a variety of flexible living spaces for them to choose from.

Community Amenities

Community amenities play a significant role in attracting young buyers to a neighborhood. Shared green spaces, fitness centers, and walkable access to local shops and restaurants all greatly contribute to a sense of community and convenience.

Reed Pirain remarks that the availability of these amenities, combined with the city’s ongoing urban revitalization efforts, makes Pittsburgh an increasingly attractive option for those seeking a vibrant and connected living environment.

Financial Assistance Programs for New Buyers

Financial assistance programs in Pittsburgh can help those in the housing market overcome the barriers on homeownership. From first-time homebuyer grants to low-interest loans and down payment assistance, these programs provide the support needed for young buyers to effectively navigate the city’s real estate market.

First-Time Homebuyer Grants

First-time homebuyer grants can significantly aid young people intending to buy a home in Pittsburgh. Financial support is available through programs like the First-Time Homebuyer Program, Keystone Forgivable in Ten Years Loan Program (K-FIT), and the Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan Program for eligible applicants. These grants can offset down payment and closing costs, easing the financial challenges of homeownership for young buyers.

To be eligible for these grants, buyers typically need to meet certain criteria, such as being a first-time homebuyer, completing a homebuyer education course, and meeting income caps or limits set by the program. By taking advantage of these resources, individuals can turn their dream of homeownership into reality.

Reed Pirain Discusses Low-Interest Loans

Low-interest loans and mortgage programs cater to young buyers with limited credit history and lower incomes. Some examples of these programs include:

  • The Residential Finance Authority (RFA) Mortgage
  • The Keystone Forgivable in Ten Years Loan Program (K-FIT)
  • The Keystone Advantage Assistance Loan Program

These programs provide more accessible financing options to those who may not qualify for traditional mortgages.

Reed Pirain also notes that these programs offer lower interest rates and more flexible qualification criteria, helping young buyers in Pittsburgh secure the financing they need to purchase a home.

Down Payment Assistance

Down payment assistance programs in Pittsburgh provide much-needed financial support for young buyers who are struggling to save for a down payment. Programs like the Housing Opportunity Fund’s Down Payment can provide financial aid to eligible first-time homebuyers in the city.

By taking advantage of these, and other programs, first-time homebuyers can overcome one of the most significant hurdles to owning a home and investing in Pittsburgh’s real estate market.

Navigating the Competitive Market

In order to successfully navigate Pittsburgh’s competitive real estate market, it’s important to:

  • Be prepared for multiple offers
  • Be prepared for bidding wars
  • Understand complex market dynamics
  • Work with a local real estate agent
  • Research neighborhoods
  • Understand market trends

By following these steps, hopeful homeowners can find the best deals available in the Steel City.

Working with a Local Real Estate Agent

Reed Pirain explains that a local real estate agent can:

  • Guide buyers through the intricate Pittsburgh housing market
  • Assist them in finding the best deals
  • Provide expert knowledge of the market to ensure a successful transaction

From identifying listings to understanding property prices, a local real estate agent can guide young buyers through the home-buying process and help them make the most of their investment, ensuring that they find success in real estate investing and become savvy real estate investors.

Preparing for Multiple Offers

Despite Pittsburgh’s real estate market being more affordable than other significant cities, it comes with its own set of challenges as well. Individuals should brace themselves for multiple offers and bidding wars, as properties in this city typically receive an average of 3 offers.

By being prepared to act quickly and make a competitive offer in a balanced market, buyers can increase their chances of securing the property they desire.

Researching Neighborhoods

Reed Pirain says that gaining knowledge on local trends and doing neighborhood research can help clients to making wise decisions when buying a home in Pittsburgh. An exploration of the city’s diverse neighborhoods can provide buyers with meaningful insights into market dynamics, identify affordable areas, and allow them to assess amenities and services.

This knowledge can be instrumental in finding the perfect home in Pittsburgh’s competitive market.

The Future of Pittsburgh’s Real Estate Market

Reed Pirain

As Pittsburgh continues to grow and evolve, the future of its real estate market for young buyers looks more and more promising. Sustainable and eco-friendly housing, urban revitalization, and technology integration are just a few of the factors shaping the city’s current real estate landscape. The Pittsburgh housing market forecast indicates a positive outlook for potential homeowners in the area.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Housing

The popularity of sustainable and eco-friendly housing options in Pittsburgh is on the rise, as buyers, both young and old, value environmental responsibility and long-term cost savings. As the city welcomes the shift towards sustainable living, home buyers now have an array of eco-friendly housing options to choose from, including those equipped with green roofs, solar panels, and energy-efficient appliances.

Urban Revitalization

Urban revitalization projects in Pittsburgh are injecting fresh life into the city and opening up new opportunities for young buyers to invest in emerging neighborhoods. Initiatives such as the ongoing projects of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure, along with affordable housing projects backed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority, are reshaping the city as a whole and enhancing its appeal to the younger generation.

Technology Integration

Reed Pirain remarks that the integration of technology into the home-buying process and the inclusion of smart home features will persist in influencing Pittsburgh’s real estate market for Gen Z and millennials. With online resources and digital tools aiding the search for the perfect home, and smart home features augmenting the standards of comfort and convenience, technology remains a fundamental part of the home-buying journey for young buyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How competitive is the real estate market in Pittsburgh?

The Pittsburgh real estate market is somewhat competitive, with homes receiving an average of three offers, and the median housing prices up 0.9% from last year. There was a 15% difference year-over-year between 2022 and 2023 for April, with a total of 419 homes sold, suggesting that demand may be dropping.

Is Pittsburgh, PA a buyers’ or sellers’ market?

Pittsburgh, PA is currently in a buyer’s market, with home prices remaining below the national average for the US. The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors notes that conditions remain favorable for buyers. The sale-to-list price ratio further corroborates this, as homes are typically sold for around the asking price on average.

Are home prices dropping in Pittsburgh, PA?

Home prices in Pittsburgh have seen a 3.6% increase since October 2023, with the median sale price for a house around $225,000. Recent market conditions have also driven up home prices from the lows seen at the start of 2023.

Is Pittsburgh a good place to buy investment property?

Pittsburgh is a great choice for investors looking for rental property, with steadily rising home values and a robust market for rental properties. Furthermore, the local economy is strong, making it an attractive destination for real estate investment.


In conclusion, Reed Pirain emphasizes that Pittsburgh’s real estate market stands as a dynamic landscape catering to young buyers in search of affordability, convenience, and a tight-knit community. With the city’s ongoing development and transformation, it presents an attractive opportunity for these individuals to secure their footing in a market brimming with diversity and vitality. As Pittsburgh continues to thrive, it invites young buyers to not only invest in properties, but also become an integral part of a flourishing and ever-evolving urban tapestry. This promises a future filled with growth and a strong sense of belonging within the Steel City’s vibrant real estate scene.