It must really suck having to write about real estate for a paper supported by real estate advertisers. Here’s a puff piece from the ketchup state that buries the lede in the concluding paragraph.
“Pittsburgh real estate agents prepare for Spring Rush” La de dah de lah, almost endlessly, until we find this:
Some local agents haven’t seen the number of new homebuyers they expected.
Sandy Rutkowski, an agent with Forest Hills-based RE/MAX Heritage Real Estate, touts the tax credit as free money and icing on the cake. But she said the program is overshadowed by a variety of issues and believes the Pittsburgh market has yet to fully bottom out.
For one, stricter credit standards and declining appraisal values are making it harder to get sales closed. Rutkowski said she’s had eight sales fall through in the past three months because the appraisals weren’t high enough to justify the mortgage. Getting private mortgage insurance can be another obstacle, she said.
She also sees a housing market chastened by bad news and describes a job that’s much harder than it used to be.