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County Economic Development, URA Release Housing Market Value Analysis

Press Release
December 15, 2021

PITTSBURGH – Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED) and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) today released a joint 2021 Housing Market Value Analysis (MVA) study, conducted by the Reinvestment Fund. The MVA assists government officials, as well as private and nonprofit sectors, as they work to implement evidence-based decision making and craft strategies in challenged housing markets along with supporting sustainable growth in stronger markets.

In 2016, Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh were analyzed in separate MVAs by the Reinvestment Fund. For 2021, Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh have been analyzed together in a single MVA to provide a more comprehensive understanding of housing market trends and influences across jurisdictional boundaries.

According to Lance Chimka, Director at ACED, “Markets are complex and tend not to respect municipal boundaries. This analysis will guide policy across the county to ensure funders are maximizing returns on housing investments.”

The MVA offers a data-driven approach to community revitalization by offering keen insights into housing market trends and makes them accessible and understandable to real estate professionals, as well as community leaders and stakeholders. By analyzing census block groups, variation in market strength and weakness within and between traditional neighborhood boundaries can be observed. The clusters of different market types on the map highlight the potential direction of market change and can help determine the most appropriate types of intervention strategy.

“We look forward to the periodic MVA updates because it offers us as policymakers the opportunity to check our gut intuitions about the housing market against hard-data realities,” said URA Executive Director Greg Flisram. “With increasingly limited resources, we must rely on partnerships, and smart policy rooted in data to ensure our interventions have impact.” 

Some key findings from the MVA included:

  • The majority of Allegheny County residents live in robust (44%) or steady (30%) market types that have strong housing demand and low levels of housing distress (such as blighted properties, vacant lots, and foreclosure).

  • Many residents (27%) live in market types with housing challenges including blighting influences and elevated foreclosure filings (relative to countywide).

  • Black and Hispanic residents are disproportionately likely to live in market types with housing challenges (66% of Black residents and 32% of Hispanic residents compared to 21% of white residents).

  • Home sale prices have increased much more rapidly than inflation (and therefore likely more rapidly than incomes) since 2016, creating increased home equity for many Allegheny County homeowners, but also placing financial pressure on low- and moderate- income households and narrowing the geography of opportunity for those households.

  • Allegheny County didn’t suffer from the foreclosure crisis to the same extent as other parts of the country. In the areas that did suffer from a foreclosure impact, housing counseling services and foreclosure rescue dollars should be targeted there to prevent another wave of foreclosures from destabilizing these areas and their homeowners.

The full report can be found on the ACED website and URA website. The Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC) is also hosting the open data set which is available at


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