Johnstown forever

So if there is any doubt what drives the stats behind this article today: Full home ownership here is nation’s best, it really is pretty simple.  Of those who did not leave Pittsburgh, we have not had many folks move around.  Likely for many depressed home values prevented the type of equity appreciation that fuels normal real estate markets. That along with the lower number of people who have moved into the region translates to fewer newer mortgages out there. I know that sounds a lot less folksy than we just love our neighborhoods, but it really is hard to dispute.

So what has been true a long time is that Pittsburgh, (city, region, or something in between) has long ranked near the top in the percentage of householders who have lived in their current home the longest period of time. It follows that more folks have paid off their current mortgage as a result. The question is why.  Is Pittsburgh an anomaly?

So to check that out, I pulled the data on the median year householders moved into their current homes for each and every MSA in the nation. I am getting 366 total MSAs currently defined.  Here is the very low end of that ranking.  Johnstown PA has, by this metric, the longest tenured folks who have not moved.  Pittsburgh last the longest tenured residents among large metro areas, thus the ranking in the article today.   But notice the whole Cleveburgh thing going on? Maybe it is just a greater rust belt pattern.  In this bottom 11 list  is Altoona, Pittsburgh, Youngstown, Cumberland, Wheeling, Steubenville-Weirton and Johnstown.  We have moved past the rust belt history in lots of ways, but there should be no doubt the impacts linger.

MEDIAN YEAR HOUSEHOLDER MOVED INTO UNIT
2007-2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

356 Altoona, PA 1999
357 Barnstable Town, MA 1999
358 Bay City, MI 1999
359 Danville, VA 1999
360 Pittsburgh, PA 1999
361 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 1999
362 Cumberland, MD-WV 1998
363 Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA 1998
364 Wheeling, WV-OH 1998
365 Steubenville-Weirton, OH-WV 1997
366 Johnstown, PA 1995
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