The Pittsburgh Commercial Real Estate Market

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Pittsburgh plays host to a growing and thriving commercial real estate market where investors and tenants alike can achieve promising investment returns.

Crexi equips those looking for Pittsburgh commercial real estate with access to a robust library of investment-ready assets and the tools needed to research, discover, and acquire their next investment. 

Brokers marketing Pittsburgh commercial property harness Crexi’s powerful listing management tools to navigate deals from list to close. To date, Crexi’s commercial real estate tools have helped brokers close more than $540 billion in asset value and market more than $5 trillion in investments.

Crexi proudly supports Pittsburgh, Ross Township, Homestead, Bethel Park, Bridgeville, and the surrounding communities as the nation’s fastest-growing commercial real estate platform.

The State of Pittsburgh Commercial Real Estate 

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, nestled in the state’s southwest corner, is uniquely situated at the confluence of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River, which combine to form the Ohio River. This strategic location has played a significant role in the city’s history and continues to shape its present.

Known as the Steel City, Pittsburgh has transformed from a steel-based economy to a vibrant hub for healthcare, education, technology, robotics, and financial services. The job market mirrors this diversity, with several Fortune 500 companies and smaller enterprises providing various employment opportunities.

Culture is another strong point. With distinctive food and traditions unique to the area, the city offers a rich, immersive experience for residents and visitors. Moreover, the city’s parks and recreational spaces, such as Frick Park, Riverview Park, Highland Park, and Emerald View Park, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation.

Pittsburgh’s infrastructure, which includes an extensive urban industrial complex extending to neighboring cities, supports its thriving economy. Whether for business or personal reasons, the market offers a compelling proposition that is hard to ignore.

Pittsburgh Regional Breakdown

Pittsburgh’s metropolitan area is the second-largest in the state. While the population has slightly decreased in recent years, the region remains vibrant and diverse. Its wide-reaching metro area is a key player in regional economic development, with numerous educational institutions contributing to its rich intellectual capital.

  • Home to nearly 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, Pittsburgh is the 26th largest in the US.
  • Greater Pittsburgh includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, and Westmoreland counties.
  • The median age is 42.8, a little higher than the figure in the state.
  • Per capita income is $40,538, and median household income is $66,609, with 32% of households earning $100,000 or more annually.
  • Over 38% hold a bachelor’s degree or an advanced degree, about 10% higher than the rate in Pennsylvania and the US.
  •  The three most prominent universities in the metropolitan area are the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and Duquesne University.

Pittsburgh Job Market

The job market in Pittsburgh is robust and diverse, reflecting the city’s commitment to innovation and growth. A highly educated population supports this dynamism, bringing ingenuity and forward-thinking approaches to the workplace. The city hosts several Fortune 500 companies and a proliferation of smaller businesses and startups, providing a healthy mix of employment opportunities. 

  • GDP for Pittsburgh MSA is $168 billion, growing by 38% over the past ten years, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve.
  • The unemployment rate is 3.7% (July 2023), with the manufacturing, financial, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality sectors among the fastest growing.
  • The largest employers are the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Highmark Health, PNC Bank, University of Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle, and Eat’n Park.
  • Key industry sectors in the Pittsburgh region include AI, climate tech and decarbonization, cybersecurity, energy, life sciences and health, manufacturing and distribution, and robotics.
  • WalletHub ranks Pittsburgh as the 7th best metro area for STEM jobs in the US.
  • Carnegie Mellon University is collaborating with the University of Pittsburgh to further increase STEM, AI, robotics, and neural engineering opportunities.
  • Transportation infrastructure includes the Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT), major interstates like I-79 and I-376, and the Port of Pittsburgh – one of the busiest inland ports in the nation. 

Pittsburgh Industrial Market

Once a stronghold of heavy manufacturing, the city has redefined itself as a key player in sectors such as life sciences, healthcare, robotics, and computer science. This shift has also influenced the industrial market in Pittsburgh, transforming it into a burgeoning hub for high-tech manufacturing and distribution. 

Vacancy rates are low, absorption is consistently positive, and asking rents are rising with a robust development pipeline. Recognizing its potential, CBRE has named Pittsburgh as an emerging industrial market.

Industrial market overview (CBRE Q2 2023

  • Inventory: 148,689,301 SF
  • Vacancy rate: 5.0%
  • Absorption: 211,124 SF (Q2 2023)
  • Key leases by tenant: Avalotis Corporation 110,000 SF, Pittsburgh Mailing Systems 33,000 SF
  • Under construction: 3.8 million SF 
  • Largest submarkets: Westmoreland County, West, City of Pittsburgh, Northeast

Crexi Intelligence

These are the most recent industrial lease and sales trends from Crexi Insights (as of September 2023):

For Lease (active)

  • Asking rate/SqFt (median): $17 per year
  • Median SqFt/listing: 7,500
  • Days on market: 296
  • Total listings on Crexi: 141 spaces

For Sale (active)

  • Median asking price: $1.1 million
  • Price/SqFt: $100
  • Asking cap rate: 7.3%
  • Days on market: 157
  • Total listings on Crexi: 35 listings for a total of 818,000 SF

Sales Comps (past 12 months)

  • Median sold price: $537,000
  • Total sales volume: $24.9 million
  • Sold cap rate: 8.3%
  • Median SqFt sold/transaction: 2,244

Discover Pittsburgh industrial space for rent.

Pittsburgh Office Market

The Pittsburgh office market is evolving, with notable sublease options boosting availability. Despite challenges, a reduced vacancy rate hints at recovery. Although negative absorption has increased, rental rates have improved. New construction is slightly down, but landlords are attracting long-term tenants with substantial concessions, such as extended free rent and tenant improvement allowances.

Market overview (Colliers Q2 2023)

  • Inventory: 133,968,100 SF
  • Vacancy rate: 14.6%
  • Absorption: -1,039,226 SF (Q2 2023)
  • Key leases by tenant: KaliVir Immunotherapeutics 21,500 SF, Castle Biosciences 20,000 SF, Signature Financial Planning 10,400 SF 
  • Under construction: 696,600 SF
  • Largest submarkets: Central Business District, Greater Downtown, Parkway West

Crexi Intelligence

For the latest insights into Pittsburgh’s office market, turn to Crexi. Here are the real-time office leasing and sales trends as of September 2023:

For Lease (active)

  • Asking rate/SqFt (median): $20 per year
  • Median SqFt/listing: 3,268 SF
  • Days on market: 346
  • Total listings on Crexi: 839 spaces

For Sale (active)

  • Median asking price: $775,000
  • Price/SqFt: $102 
  • Asking cap rate: 7.3%
  • Days on market: 216
  • Total listings on Crexi: 73 listings totaling 2.57 million SF

Sales Comps (past 12 months)

  • Median sold price: $550,000
  • Sold price/SqFt: Unavailable
  • Total sales volume: $41.8 million
  • Sold cap rate: 8.3%

Discover Pittsburgh office space for lease. 

Pittsburgh Retail Market

The retail market in Pittsburgh is experiencing a tightening of conditions due to a narrow development pipeline and shifting foot traffic patterns in the Central Business District. Despite employment levels not reaching pre-health crisis norms, office-using sectors are thriving, supporting record retail spending. This trend is expected to encourage tenant expansions. However, tenants face limited speculative supply, which may keep rent increasing going forward.

Retail market overview (IPA Q2 2023

  • Inventory: 152,033,256 SF
  • Rent growth: 1.9% (last 12 months)
  • Vacancy rate: 5.0%
  • Absorption: 125,855 SF (current quarter)
  • Under construction: 233,237 SF 
  • Largest submarkets: South Pittsburgh, Westmoreland, North Pittsburgh

Crexi Intelligence

Retail lease and sales trends from Crexi Insights (as of September 2023):

For Lease (active)

  • Asking rate/SqFt (median): $21 per year
  • Median SqFt/listing: 2,482 SF
  • Days on market: 240
  • Total listings on Crexi: 431 spaces

For Sale (active)

  • Median asking price: $612,000
  • Price/SqFt: $117
  • Asking cap rate: 7.1%
  • Days on market: 183
  • Total listings on Crexi: 257 listings for a total of 4.46 million SF

Sales Comps (past 12 months)

  • Median sold price: $390,000
  • Sold price/SqFt: $272
  • Total sales volume: $146 million
  • Sold cap rate: 8.1%
  • Median SqFt sold/transaction: 1,417 SF
  • Days on market (median): 68

Discover Pittsburgh retail property for lease.

Pittsburgh Multifamily Market

Pittsburgh’s multifamily market is resilient, with positive rent growth and a stable occupancy rate. Despite the city’s employment growth rate trailing the national average, its jobless rate has considerably outperformed both Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. According to Yardi Matrix, large-scale medical projects by entities like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are expected to strengthen the city’s economic foundation further.

Multifamily market overview (Yardi Matrix April 2023)

  • Total housing units: 714,244
  • Multi-unit: 225,905
  • Vacancy rate: 4.3%
  • Average asking rent: $1,261 (Apartments.com)
  • Rent growth: 0.2% (last three months)
  • New construction: 2,095 units
  • Most popular neighborhoods for renters (Rent.com): Southside Slopes, Southside Flats, East Carson Street

Crexi Intelligence

Here are the most recent multifamily insights from Crexi (as of September 2023):

For Sale (active)

  • Median asking price: $450,000
  • Price/SqFt: $189
  • Price/Unit: $164,000
  • Asking cap rate: 7.5%
  • Days on market: 111
  • Total listings on Crexi: 42 listings totaling 1.45 million SF

Sales Comps (past 12 months)

  • Median sold price: $227,000
  • Sold price/SqFt: $96
  • Sold price/unit: $95,100
  • Total sales volume: $269 million
  • Sold cap rate: 8.3%
  • Total SqFt sold: 1.45 million

Discover Pittsburgh multifamily property for sale.


Get more in-depth Pittsburgh market data with Crexi Intelligence.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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