Pittsburg has ranked in the Top 10 best markets for a housing recovery. Read the entire story:

“Best recovery bets” for housing markets in American cities was recently compiled by Les Christie, a CNN.com real estate reporter. His top-ten list included only one Pennsylvania location (Pittsburgh) but recently, Fiserv, an independent firm, reported forecasts for several cities in the Commonwealth. The forecasts from both sources are predicted through 2012.

Best recovery chances for 2012

1. Tacoma, WA (Prices in nearby Seattle are about 50 percent higher)

2. Palm Bay, FL (Was significantly overbuilt leading to 50 percent declines in prices)

3. Memphis, TN (The economy has been strengthening and foreclosures are slowing down)

4. Rochester, NY (Housing is cheap and there are several good, local employers)

5. Pittsburgh (Prices only fell 0.6 percent from peak and prices were relatively low to start)

6. Seattle, WA (Limited supply of housing with a good mix of employers)

7. Tucson, AZ (Median prices fell 38 percent already and market is better than in Phoenix)

8. Colorado Springs (Growing population and affordable homes are there)

9. Charlotte, NC (Watch for corporate growth to return)

10. New Haven, CT (Expected to grow with national economy)

Source: Les Christie, CNNMoney.com, (February 2, 2011)

This study is further indication of the upcoming recovery of American housing markets by 2012. Much depends on the general economy, of course, but there is growing excitement about the return to a period of positive house appreciation within the next 12 to 18 months, even if the rates are modest.

Fiserv’s New Study

Fiserv tracks some 384 U.S. housing markets.  It provided the following forecasts for several Pennsylvania cities:

Note that every forecast for 2010/2011 for the Pennsylvania cities resulted in a decline except for Pittsburgh. Every prediction for the following year (2011/2012) was better than the year before, without exception. Nine of the 14 cities were predicted to have positive appreciation rates by 2012! Taken together, this study predicts a turnaround in house price changes throughout the Commonwealth.

In recent years, the housing market has become an uncertain sector in terms of predictions. The data shows the impact of the so-called “double dip” in house prices many commentators have predicted. Yet, such a decline is clearly thought to be short-lived, at least in Pennsylvania. There is considerable reason for optimism.