Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in Pennsylvania


The Keystone State has a total population of 12,787,209, making it the sixth most populous state in the country, according to the U.S. Census. A state of significant history and innovation, Pennsylvania remains a popular place to live for young and old. The state's median household income of $52,548 is just below the national median household income of $53,046. Home-ownership remains within reach for many with a median home value of $164,700 compared with $176,700 for the national median home value. The state's homeownership rate is 69.8 percent and just 20.5 percent live in multi-unit structures. The City of Brotherly Love is by far the largest in the state. Philadelphia has a population of 1,553,165, a median home value of $142,500, and a median household income of $37,192. The homeownership rate is 53.3 percent for the city and 26.5 percent of people are below the poverty level. Pittsburgh has a population of 305,841, a median home value of $89,400, and a median household income of $39,195. The poverty rate is 22.6 percent and just under 40 percent of Pittsburgh residents live in multi-unit structures.

In addition to being sixth in the country for population, Pennsylvania's gross state product (GSP) of $644 billion is sixth in the United States. The state ranks 19th in agricultural production. With four cities having a population above 100,000 and one of those four having a population more than 1.5 million, Pennsylvania is a densely populated state and has an average of 284 people per square mile across the state. Philadelphia has 11,379 people per square mile and Pittsburgh averages 5,521 people for each square mile. This keeps affordable apartments in demand. The Philadelphia office market ended 2014 with a vacancy rate of 13.4 percent. That is the lowest since 2009, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE.

Office Rental and Executive Suites in Pittsburgh, PA

How to Become a Realtor in Pennsylvania

As a division of the Pennsylvania Department of State's Bureau of Professional & Occupational Affairs, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission endeavours to safeguard the public interest by regulating the licensing of all agents in the state, establishing continuing education requirements, and enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth that relate to any real estate activities that require a license. The Commission requires applicants have a reputation for honesty, integrity, and competence. They also must be at least 18 years old. The required 60 hours of approved real estate classwork may be waived for applicants who have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with a major in real estate. The Commission requires real estate brokers in the state be at least 21 years old. They must complete 240 hours of approved real estate class hours or have 16 credits in college or university real estate classes.