Posted October 25, 2017 by RentJungle

Pittsburgh has been undergoing a tech revolution. Recently profiled in the New York Times as a city that has gotten a "tech-makeover," the former steel town has been reimagined as a new hub for technology innovation. With Silicon Valley giants like Google, Uber and Facebook setting up shop in the Western Pennsylvanian city, as well as a wealth of fresh talent courtesy of Carnegie Mellon University's prestigious computer science and engineering programs, the tech sector is dramatically shifting the landscape of Pittsburgh.

The Boom

In many ways, the tech boom has benefitted the city. Like many rust belt cities, Pittsburgh had suffered as steel and manufacturing jobs faded away. The influx of high paying tech jobs rebooted the local economy and helped increase the city's average household income. According to the US Census, the average household income in Pittsburgh was $54,080 per year in 2015, which was a 3.3% increase since 2014, and was an increase of 3.76% over the past three years. Pittsburgh's average household income is still slightly lower than both Pennsylvania and the national average, but it can't be questioned that the small city's economy is thriving.

However, an increase in wages has lead to an increase in living expenses, and many long time residents are being left behind. According to Stefani Pashman, the director of a nonprofit in Pittsburgh, there has been a 10% growth in tech jobs in the past ten years, but the labor market as a whole has only grown 2%. Opportunity is skewed towards tech, and tech is skewed towards white males. As Silicon Valley's ongoing scandals illustrate, the tech industry has a huge diversity problem. While the influx of tech jobs in Pittsburgh is benefitting many young, highly educated white men, for much of the city, which trends older and blacker, these high paying positions are out of reach. These old time Pittsburghers must deal with the mounting housing and living costs brought on by this new, wealthier population of tech professionals.

Wages Up, Rents Up

Housing prices have been rapidly increasing in Pittsburgh; especially in neighborhoods surrounding these newly constructed tech offices. Google built their Pittsburgh headquarters in Bakery Square, an enclave of luxury condos and high end shopping right next to the historically low income East Liberty. East Liberty has been facing waves of gentrification in the past few years. With the opening of Target and Whole Foods in recent years, East Liberty has begun to attract a new, wealthier crowd.

As a whole, Pittsburgh is a relatively affordable city. As of September 2017, the average rent citywide was $1266 per month. One bedroom apartments in Pittsburgh cost $1120 per month on average, and two bedroom apartments rent for $1445 per month on average.

However, near these new tech offices, rental rates are much higher. The average rent for a place within three quarters of a mile of the Google office in Bakery Square is $1709 per month, nearly $500 more per month than the city average.

Uber has made a similar impact on the city. The Uber offices are located in the Strip District, a formerly industrial neighborhood known for its wholesale food. In recent years however, The Strip has become a cool cultural corner of the city, with a burgeoning nightlife scene and some of the best restaurants in town. Though for much of its history, the Strip was a wholesale area composed primarily of warehouses and businesses, it has begun to attract attention from real estate developers. Developers are looking to harness the industrial charm of the Strip District to sell luxury condos and apartment buildings. The Cork Factory, a huge building of high-end lofts, opened recently, transforming a former factory space into luxury housing.

The average rent for an apartment within a one-mile radius of the Uber Advanced Technology offices is $1770 per month, more than $500 higher than the average rental price citywide. One bedrooms in this housing zone average $1499 per month, two bedrooms cost $1968 on average, and three bedrooms rent for $2042 per month on average.

A Contentious Relationship

Clearly where technology companies go, rent hikes follow. As tech sweeps across the steel city, rental prices have been steadily increasing. The city has had a contentious relationship with the tech industry. The city government has encouraged the growth of the tech sector, while many grassroots organizations have protested the gentrification and growing unaffordability of the city. Pittsburgh's mayor, Bill Peduto, had a well publicized falling out with Uber this year, after announcing that Uber had failed to give back to the city.

Pittsburgh is one of the cities Amazon is considering expanding into. It is estimated that Amazon will bring more than 50,000 new high paying jobs and $5 billion dollars of investment to the city it chooses. As a city of only 303,625 people, this would radically reshape Pittsburgh. The question is, who, exactly, benefits from the technology industry in Pittsburgh. Check out our rental listings to learn more about the Pittsburgh housing market.

Posted August 25, 2017 by RentJungle

Lawrenceville has been one of the hippest, hottest neighborhoods in Pittsburgh for more than half a decade. Whether you want to snag a baguette at La Gourmandine (the best bakery in town!), are craving a smoked Kielbasa from Franktuary, or want to dance your heart out at Cattivo, Lawrenceville is bustling with fun and culture. Rental prices had been consistently increasing for this cool east end neighborhood, but in the past year, rental prices have actually dropped slightly, making it a great time to move to Lawrenceville.

Location Location Location

A neighborhood in Pittsburgh's East End, Lawrenceville is located along the south bank of the Allegheny River. With Highland Park to its east, the Strip District to its west, and Bloomfield and Garfield to the southeast, Lawrenceville is located in the apex of Pittsburgh culture. Across the 40th Street Bridge on the other side of the Allegheny River lies Troy Hill and Millvale.

Lawrenceville is long and skinny in shape, stretching along the Allegheny River. The neighborhood runs along Butler Street, a long road paralleling the river that is teeming with restaurants, shops, and nightlife.

Lawrenceville is divided into three separate sections. Upper Lawrenceville is the furthest northeast, wedged between the Allegheny cemetery and Highland Park. Further away from the main throng of businesses on Butler, Upper Lawrenceville tends to be calmer and more residential than the rest of the neighborhood.

Central Lawrenceville encompasses the heart of the neighborhood's main street. Located roughly between 40th Street and the cemetery, living in Central Lawrenceville puts you right at the heart of the culture and nightlife of this vibrant neighborhood.

Lower Lawrenceville falls southwest of 40th street, between Central Lawrenceville and the Strip District. Though slightly further from the hustle and bustle of Central Lawrenceville, there are many great neighborhood spots in the lower section such as Round Corner Cantina and Espresso a Mano. Up the hill, the Church Brew Works is an awesome spot to grab a pint with friends. Lower Lawrenceville is also the section of the neighborhood closest to downtown; it's central location making it an easy commute to many other parts of the city.

Each section of Lawrenceville has it's own rental market. The central location and proximity to downtown makes Lower Lawrenceville the most expensive of the three. The average apartment rents for $1657, making Lower Lawrenceville the seventh most expensive neighborhood in the city.

Central Lawrenceville is slightly more affordable, with rents averaging around $1264. The more residential Upper Lawrenceville is significantly cheaper, with the average rent coming in at about $902.

A Hot Market, Recently Cooling

As Pittsburgh's revitalization and cultural efforts have pushed the city into the national spotlight, rental prices in the Steel City have shot up over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2015, rental prices more than doubled in the city. In April of 2011, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh was only $772. By November 2015, average rent for a two-bedroom apartment had jumped to $1613. That is a 108% increase of rental price in only four and a half years.

However, in the past year there have been signs that the housing market is cooling. At its peak, the average rental price for a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh clocked in at $1645. That was November of 2016. By July 2017, the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh had dropped to $1467; an 11% drop in rental prices in the span of only eight months.


Lawrenceville rental trends have followed a similar trajectory. In February of 2015, the average rent for an apartment in Lawrenceville was a little bit more than $1100. Rents in the neighborhood steadily increased, reaching an all time high of $1600 a month in December of 2016. However, in recent months, market prices have begun to dip back down. Six months after that peak, in June of 2017, the average monthly rent of an apartment in Lawrenceville was around $1250, the lowest average rent for the neighborhood in nearly a year. Average rent in Lawrenceville varies dramatically month to month, but recent data suggests that we are seeing a downward trend in housing costs in this hip neighborhood.

As Pittsburgh's job market continues to rapidly expand, wages across the city have shot upwards. Studies found that after inflation, the average wage in Pittsburgh grew nearly 6% annually from 2004 to 2015. Though most of this income growth is happening in tech, health, finance and other parts of the so-called knowledge sector, Pittsburgh is one of the few metro areas that showed positive wage growth for low-income earners with an annual income of about $23,000. Employment and wages in the steel city are both growing at a rate that outpaces the national average.

Though faring better than blue-collar workers in other cities across the nation, low-income earners in Pittsburgh are still struggling with the rapid rise in rent. A stagnant minimum wage has left the lowest paid workers unable to keep up with skyrocketing housing costs. A research group in Washington DC calculated that a worker would need to work more than two full time minimum wage jobs to afford a two bedroom apartment in Pittsburgh, with a median cost of $822.

The city council's resolution to raise the minimum wage in the city from $7.25 to $12, as part of an incremental plan towards a $15 minimum wage, is certainly a step the right direction. Paired with these cooling rental trends, signs point to housing in Pittsburgh becoming more affordable again.

Posted March 31, 2015 by RentJungle
The multi family housing real estate sector has had a record breaking year. The total investment volume in multi-family properties totaled $106 billion in 2014. Multi-Family units are the only real estate sector to return to the sales levels of 2007. This sector of real estate has been increasing in the past few years. The Q4 numbers show a ten perfect increase from the 2013 Q4 Numbers. The World Property Journal has more information about the latest property boom.

Based on the latest research from CBRE; propensity to rent, improving job economy and new development deliveries in the U.S. combined to drive the largest full-year multifamily investment total since 2007.

Total investment volume in U.S. multifamily properties totaled $106 billion in 2014, a 7 percent climb over the prior year and surpassing the prior peak of $105.1 billion set in 2007. Multifamily is the first property sector to return to 2007 sales levels with this milestone.

The year closed with a very active quarter for multifamily property investment, in terms of sales volume. In Q4 2014, U.S. multifamily sales volume reached $34.1 billion--10 percent higher than the year prior--setting a new quarterly investment record.

Investment in mid/high-rise property sales represented 37 percent of all acquisitions in 2014--based on dollar volume--and totaled $39 billion; up two-a-half percent from the prior year. Garden apartment investment rose 6.4% in 2014, to $67 billion. While acquisitions of mid-rise and high-rise properties will remain active, CBRE Research anticipates a modest shift toward garden product in the near term.

"Multifamily investment soared to new heights in 2014. The sector continues to show its resilience as a safe haven for global investors looking to make their way into the U.S. In 2015, we anticipate total investment volume to match or exceed 2014 levels as deployment of capital into real estate from new investor types, in particular, insurance groups from China and Taiwan, and Chinese property companies continues to accelerate," said Brian McAuliffe, Executive Managing Director, Institutional Properties, CBRE Capital Markets.

Aggressive pricing continues to reflect the large amount of capital attracted to the sector, as multifamily investors continue to have a favorable view of this asset class. The Q4 2014 average apartment sales price of $124,000 per unit reflected a 9.6 percent increase over the year prior. Mid/high-rise product recorded a year-over-year gain of 11.2 percent, to $235,000 per unit.

The downward pressure on cap rates also reflects the continued interest in the sector. For all types of apartment properties, cap rates averaged 6.1 percent in Q4 2014--down 10 basis points (bps) from the prior quarter.

Rental demand continued to surge in 2014, as more existing households shifted from owning to renting, and more newly formed households chose to rent apartments over purchasing single family homes. In 2014, 261,700 multifamily units were absorbed nationwide. New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, Dallas and Austin were the year's largest contributors to net absorption, each recording more than 10,000 units of positive net absorption.

"Market trends continue to reflect the multifamily sector's attractiveness for debt and equity capital as pricing metrics point to a sustained competitive environment for investment and higher pricing. GSEs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain dominant in the multifamily lending world; life companies, banks and the CMBS market are also competitive sources of mortgage capital. The favorable health of the multifamily sector is also reflected in low and/or declining delinquency rates," said Peter Donovan, Senior Managing Director, Multifamily, CBRE Capital Markets.

Posted July 22, 2010 by RentJungle

The property management software blog/service "software advice" has ranked the top 50 tenant friendly cities.

Chicago was first, followed by Arlington, TX. You can check out the full list here:

Posted October 07, 2009 by RentJungle

Losing a job and losing a home can be devastating. Unfortunately, this has been a tragic reality for many Americans. To help them out, has compiled a list of best cities for starting over. The survey measured such indicators as average rents and home values, median incomes and unemployment rates. Topping the list of best places to get back on your feet were Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City. All three boast high income ranks (24, 33 and 40 respectively) and low rent ranks (6, 12 and 4). The worst cities for new beginnings were Los Angeles, Miami and New York. Income ranks for these three cities were 35, 44 and 30, but rent ranks were 41, 38 and 45. With this information in hand, hopes people can better decide if moving to a new city might be in order.

Best Cities To Get Back On Your Feet

Rank City Average Rent Median Home Value Median Income Unemployment
3Oklahoma City716119,61355,3005.9
6San Antonio75498,33549,1006.9
7Kansas City825114,37367,8008.9

Worst Cities To Get Back On Your Feet

Rank City Average Rent Average Home Value Median Income Unemployment
1Los Angeles1,651391,90659,80011.7
3New York2,458440,80563,0009.1
4San Francisco1,814681,86994,30010.5
6San Diego1,477375,02572,10010.3

In order to scour the million-plus rental ads on the Internet, employs innovate spidering technology that can detect both when new rentals come on the market and when rents for a particular property change. All of this data is analyzed and stored in order to keep users abreast of the latest happenings in the rental market. Trends can be tracked by city and by neighborhood, furthering the site's value to users. Lastly, users can see searches on an easy, interactive map that links to satellite street views. They can get an idea of what awaits outside their front window without having to physically visit the place--especially useful if they're moving to a new city or want to apartment hunt at 2am.

Posted October 07, 2009 by RentJungle

Knowing whether to sign a lease or a stack of mortgage papers is not always clear. But is shedding light on the matter with a new guide to cities that compares renting versus buying by considering the combined cost of average mortgages, taxes and insurance and comparing those to average rents. Much of this data is drawn from the over 1 million apartment ads analyzes each month. As of September, the best places to dive into the home market were Houston and Cleveland. In these cities, buying is 52% and 40% cheaper than renting. In contrast, the housing markets in San Francisco and Seattle are so hot that in the former it's 54% cheaper to rent and in the latter it's 49%.

Top Cities to Rent

Rank City 2 Bed Rental + Insurance Mortgage+Taxes+Insurance % Cheaper to Rent
1San Francisco1,8163,94554%
7San Diego1,4742,22134%
9Colorado Springs7371,10533%

Top Cities to Buy

Rank City 2 Bed Rental + Insurance Mortgage+Taxes+Insurance % Cheaper to Buy
6New Orleans1,05084624%
10Kansas City7877406%

In order to scour the million-plus rental ads on the Internet, employs innovate spidering technology that can detect both when new rentals come on the market and when rents for a particular property change. All of this data is analyzed and stored in order to keep users abreast of the latest happenings in the rental market. Trends can be tracked by city and by neighborhood, furthering the site's value to users. Lastly, users can see searches on an easy, interactive map that links to satellite street views. They can get an idea of what awaits outside their front window without having to physically visit the place--especially useful if they're moving to a new city or want to apartment hunt at 2am.

Beware of rental ad scams: Rent Jungle is a rental search engine for apartment hunters and is not responsible for the content of rental listings found on the site. Rent Jungle encourages you to use common sense while apartment hunting. Beware of fraudulent listings. Click here to learn about common scams.