Department of Numbers

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Residential Rent and Rental Statistics

The median monthly gross residential rent in Pittsburgh, PA (the Pittsburgh metro area) was $756 in 2015 according to the Census ACS survey.1 Average gross rent in Pittsburgh was $781 in 2015. The median rent more accurately depicts rental rates in the middle of the distribution of rents and is thus preferred in the analysis below. 2016 Pittsburgh median and average rent data will be released in September of 2017.

Data is also available below for Pittsburgh rental vacancy rates, Pittsburgh rent as a percent of median income and the fraction of renters in Pittsburgh.

Show dollars as: Nominal Real

Real Gross Rent in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania (2015 dollars)2

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US Median Gross Rent $959 +3.12% +8.24%
Pennsylvania Median Gross Rent $868 +2.84% +8.50%
Pittsburgh, PA Median Gross Rent $756 +2.30% +7.69%

Pittsburgh, PA Real Gross Rent Trends

At $756, real median gross rent in Pittsburgh was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005. At $781, real average gross rent in Pittsburgh was at its highest level in 2015 since the series began in 2005.

Real Gross Rent in Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh PA Median, Pittsburgh PA Average, Pennsylvania Median, US Median

Lower quartile, median and upper quartile real gross rent

Real Gross Rent History for Pittsburgh

Date US
Median
Pennsylvania
Median
Pittsburgh, PA
Median
Pittsburgh, PA
Average
2015 $959 $868 $756 $781
2014 $930 $844 $739 $736
2013 $898 $822 $707 $735
2012 $886 $800 $702 $716
2011 $887 $800 $694 $699
2010 $901 $804 $691 $700
2009 $905 $793 $691 $693
2008 $920 $811 $717 $726
2007 $874 $759 $673 $677
2006 $883 $769 $679 $679
2005 $858 $762 $681 $688

Pittsburgh Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate is the fraction of homes for rent that are not occupied.3 In 2015 the rental vacancy rate for Pittsburgh Pennsylvania was 5.13% according to Census ACS data.

Rental Vacancy Rate in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 5.85% -0.47% -0.92%
Pennsylvania 5.77% -0.63% -0.11%
Pittsburgh, PA 5.13% +0.12% +0.74%

Trends in Pittsburgh, PA Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in Pittsburgh peaked in 2006 at 10.55%. Since then it has fallen by 5.42% to 5.13%. Data records for this series originated in 2005. From a 2013 post peak low of 4.38%, the rental vacancy rate has increased by 0.75%.

Rental Vacancy Rate: Pittsburgh PA, Pennsylvania, US

Rental vacancy rate in Pennsylvania

Historical Rental Vacancy Rate data for Pittsburgh

Date US Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, PA
2015 5.85% 5.77% 5.13%
2014 6.32% 6.40% 5.01%
2013 6.49% 5.78% 4.38%
2012 6.77% 5.88% 4.39%
2011 7.40% 6.13% 5.50%
2010 8.17% 6.47% 6.04%
2009 8.43% 6.80% 5.61%
2008 7.86% 6.65% 6.33%
2007 7.87% 7.34% 9.96%
2006 7.70% 8.09% 10.55%
2005 7.74% 7.94% 10.45%

Rent as a Fraction of Income

Using median household income data for Pittsburgh, we can calculate the fraction of income the median household would use to pay rent at the median monthly gross rent rate. For Pittsburgh, median monthly gross rent as a fraction of median household income was 16.78% in 2015 according to the ACS.

Pittsburgh Pennsylvania Median Annual Rent as a Fraction of Median Household Income

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 20.63% -0.26% -0.02%
Pennsylvania 18.70% -0.42% +0.01%
Pittsburgh, PA 16.78% -0.27% +0.14%

Trends in Pittsburgh, PA Rent as a Fraction of Income

The fraction of median Pittsburgh household income required to pay median monthly gross rent peaked in 2014 (relative to the 2005 series origin) at 17.05%. Since then it has fallen by 0.27% to 16.78%.

Fraction of Income towards Rent: Pittsburgh PA, Pennsylvania, US

Percent of median household income going towards median monthly gross rent in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Historical Data for Annual Rent as a Fraction of Income in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Date US Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, PA
2015 20.63% 18.70% 16.78%
2014 20.89% 19.12% 17.05%
2013 20.78% 19.11% 16.66%
2012 20.65% 18.69% 16.64%
2011 20.70% 18.78% 16.75%
2010 20.50% 18.58% 16.86%
2009 20.12% 17.88% 16.65%
2008 19.00% 17.18% 16.13%
2007 18.66% 16.92% 15.99%
2006 18.90% 17.22% 16.28%
2005 18.89% 17.43% 16.63%

Renter Fraction in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

You can calculate the renter fraction in Pittsburgh in at least two ways: by housing units or by population. I've gone with the housing units measure here. This measure looks at the number of renting households in Pittsburgh as a fraction of total Pittsburgh households. In 2015 30.82% of households were renters according to Census ACS data.

Pittsburgh Fraction of Renters by Household Units

2015 1 Year Change 3 Year Change
US 36.97% +0.07% +0.88%
Pennsylvania 31.28% +0.11% +0.19%
Pittsburgh, PA 30.82% +0.15% +0.27%

Trends in the Pittsburgh, PA Renter Fraction

At 30.82%, the 2015 household based renter fraction in Pittsburgh was at its highest level. The origin year for the series is 2005.

Fraction of Renting Households: Pittsburgh PA, Pennsylvania, US

Fraction of renters in Pittsburgh

History of Pittsburgh Renter Fraction

Date US Pennsylvania Pittsburgh, PA
2015 36.97% 31.28% 30.82%
2014 36.90% 31.17% 30.67%
2013 36.50% 31.05% 30.21%
2012 36.09% 31.09% 30.55%
2011 35.42% 30.51% 30.73%
2010 34.65% 29.87% 29.62%
2009 34.13% 29.48% 29.84%
2008 33.36% 29.15% 28.88%
2007 32.80% 28.36% 28.07%
2006 32.73% 28.28% 28.45%
2005 33.10% 28.52% 27.54%

1. Gross rent is defined as contract rent plus the estimated average monthly cost of utilities (electricity, gas, water, and sewer) and fuel (oil, coal, kerosene, wood, etc.). Because some rentals include utilities and others don't, gross rent is a way of normalizing the variability.

2. Real dollars are calculated using the CPI-U less shelter series.

3. The rental vacancy rate is computed by dividing the number of vacant units for rent by the sum of the renter-occupied units, vacant units that are for rent, and vacant units that have been rented but not yet occupied.