There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Pennsylvania:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Pennsylvania, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Keystone State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Pennsylvania that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Pennsylvania at the moment? That would be Duquesne according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Pennsylvania for 2019:
- Duquesne (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Ellwood City (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Reading (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Sayre (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Swissvale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lewi (Homes For Sale)
- Clarion (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Munhall (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Carnegie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Pittsburgh (Photos | Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Pennsylvania and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Pennsylvania for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Pennsylvania. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Pennsylvania with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Pennsylvania with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 1,752 cities and towns in Pennsylvania, only 187 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 187 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Duquesne is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Keystone State.
Read on for more on these places.
The city of Duquesne was settled in 1789 and incorporated in 1891. The city derives its name from Fort Duquesne.
Lenni Lenape people, also known as “Delaware Indians”, were the original inhabitants of the Reading area.|The Colony of Pennsylvania was a 1680 land grant from King Charles II of England to William Penn. Comprising more than 45,000 square miles, it was named for his father, Sir William Penn.
In May 1870, a Waverly banker named Howard Elmer, along with Charles Anthony and James Fritcher, bought the Pine Plains area between Waverly and Athens. Elmer convinced Asa Packer to locate a new railroad repair facility on the Pine Plains for the expanding Lehigh Valley Railroad, which was making a push north to connect to the Erie Railroad at Waverly. Robert Heysham Sayre, president of the Pennsylvania and New York Railroad, helped cement the deal. The town was named in his honor. Sayre was incorporated on January 27, 1891.
Swissvale is named after the Swisshelm family. John Swisshelm, who owned a farm where the town is located. John Swisshelm served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War, and camped at Valley Forge. Swisshelm married Mary Elizabeth Miller, and they had many children. Their son, James Swisshelm, married Jane Grey Cannon, noted abolitionist and political activist, Jane Swisshelm named the town Swisuvale as the town overlooked the Monongahela River Valley. The Pittsburgh neighborhood of Swisshelm Park, adjacent to Swissvale, is also named after John Swisshelm.
A post office called Munhall was established in 1887. The borough was formed on June 23, 1901, out of parts of Homestead and Mifflin Township, and named for John Munhall, the original owner of the town site.
Carnegie is named after Andrew Carnegie, who donated one of his libraries for the gesture. It was incorporated on March 1, 1894. from the boroughs of Chartiers and Mansfield. Later, the borough annexed part of Robinson Township. Neighborhoods include Rosslyn Heights, Cubbage Hill, Irishtown, Forsythe Hill, Library Hill, and Old Mansfield.
Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honor of British statesman William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The original pronunciation would have been PITS-br or PITS-b-r, matching similarly named places in Great Britain such as Edinburgh in Scotland and Aldeburgh in Suffolk. Pittsburgh was incorporated as a township in 1771 and as a borough on April 22, 1794, with the following Act: “Be it enacted by the Pennsylvania State Senate and Pennsylvania House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania…by the authority of the same, that the said town of Pittsburgh shall be…erected into a borough, which shall be called the borough of Pittsburgh for ever.”|The current pronunciation, which is extremely unusual in English speaking countries, is almost certainly a result of a printing error in some copies of the City Charter of March 18, 1816. The error was repeated commonly enough throughout the rest of the 19th century that the original pronunciation was lost and in 1890 the “h” was removed in order to make it easier to spell. After a public campaign the original spelling was officially restored by the United States Board on Geographic Names in 1911.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Pennsylvania for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Pennsylvania. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 0 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
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