Thanks to a highly educated talent pool, pockets of growth in the health-care, banking and technology sectors are pushing Pittsburgh’s economy forward, bolstering demand for multifamily product.
Following a sluggish 2017, job growth began to pick up, reaching 1.5 percent year-over-year as of April. Gains were led by education and health services, a trend which is set to continue, with upcoming projects such as UPMC’s $2 billion plan to build three specialty hospitals on the campuses of UPMC Presbyterian in Oakland, UPMC Mercy in Uptown and UPMC Shadyside. Employment growth was also significant for leisure and hospitality, as well as for professional and business services. Moreover, the high-tech startup scene is expanding in the city, which is home to Carnegie Mellon University and the Robotics Institute: Some $687 million was invested in local tech companies last year, according to the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
Despite a decline in population at the metro level, downtown Pittsburgh saw a 24 percent demographic expansion between 2010 and 2017, which has prompted developers to target the area for new product. The recent boost in higher-paying jobs is slated to continue underpinning rental demand, especially in core urban areas. We expect rents to advance 1.8 percent in 2018.