How’s the housing market? That’s a pretty standard opening line for builders and real estate agents when they meet but not exactly a conversation starter for the average citizen. For the sizable share of the population that owns a home in the U.S., however, it’s a question that has more bearing on their lives today than normal.
Since the housing bubble and mortgage crisis that followed it in 2007-2008, the dynamics of the housing market have gone from steady to volatile. Now, a full decade after the phrase “subprime mortgage” entered our collective consciousness, the housing market is entering another volatile phase. This time around the problem is 180 degrees opposite that of 2007. Whereas easy mortgage money provided a way for more people to buy homes than could really afford them during the bubble, today’s dilemma is a tight supply. For homeowners, this condition is a happy one. Prices are rising faster than normal because there are more buyers than sellers. Instead of being upside down, like what happened in 2009 when home values plunged, homeowners are seeing their equity grow faster than expected.
After the heartburn of a decade ago, such market conditions hardly seem like bad news. And for sellers the conditions bring good fortune. But, like with most market imbalances, today’s conditions have a downside. Buyers are forced to make quick decisions about the home they want and many find themselves in a bidding war. Rapidly-rising prices are making it harder for first-time buyers and with interest rates rising – albeit only slightly for now – the pressure on first-time buyers won’t be easing.
There are two main issues creating the problem: fewer existing homes on the market and less new construction. These two things don’t usually coincide. In fact, tight supply of existing homes has always sparked more new construction. But there are a couple of factors limiting new construction, both hangovers from the mortgage crisis. There are fewer homebuilders and the obstacles to residential development are greater than ten years ago.
This interesting and contrary housing market is a national phenomenon and it is also a Pittsburgh phenomenon. The housing crisis of 2007-2008 largely bypassed Pittsburgh. While there was a slight increase in foreclosures – and a shakeup among the lenders that dabbled in subprime loans – there were none of the problems that other cities faced. Few people lost their homes. Home values stumbled slightly for a couple of years. But by 2010 home values were increasing again and, thanks to the Marcellus Shale boom, Pittsburgh’s housing market became healthier than it was before the Great Recession. Yet for the market’s health, new construction has not returned.
Seen from a number of perspectives, this tight supply issue isn’t a big deal. Circumstances will no doubt change to either increase supply or quell demand. In Pittsburgh, however, there are few indications that a significant change is on the horizon. For a city that is trying to attract younger skilled workers (and succeeding), an extended period of tight supply could impact one of Pittsburgh’s biggest advantages: its affordability.
The Housing Market: Just the Facts
An examination of the housing data for metropolitan Pittsburgh reveals a tale of two markets: one before 2008 and one after. From the early 1990s, when the housing market began to expand in response to Pittsburgh’s economic rebirth and the completion of several important infrastructure projects (think Parkway North), builders were consistently starting between 2,500 and 3,500 single-family detached homes. In fact, the average number of new homes started during the 1995-2007 period was just over 3,000 units. The same was true of single-family attached homes – mostly townhouses – which saw an average of 928 units built during that timeframe. For nearly 15 years there were more or less 4,000 new units of single-family new construction available for sale in the Pittsburgh market. That changed in 2008.
Like in most U.S. cities, the financial crisis altered the residential construction landscape in Pittsburgh. New home construction fell by almost 1,800 units per year from 2008 until 2013. Economic uncertainty impacted demand during the first couple of years following the crisis and tight lending standards for residential mortgages pinched demand for a few more years. A boom in apartments filled the demand as Pittsburgh’s economy saw double-digit job growth from 2010 through 2012 and the stage was set for a housing market lift-off. The market is still awaiting that lift-off.
During the nine years since the recession started, there has been an average of 1,920 new single-family detached homes started. The average for the last five – which covers the period in which Pittsburgh saw strong job growth – has been 1,962. Apartment construction tripled during this latter period, with an average of more than 2,600 units built each year; however, even as that market softened, new construction for sale has remained unchanged.
Logically, this unusual stagnation of the new construction market would be offset by a robust existing home sales market. That hasn’t happened. In point of fact, the opposite has occurred. For several reasons, existing home sales should be increasing rapidly but even a recent improvement in sales hasn’t changed the overall trend. There are fewer houses to sell, even though metropolitan Pittsburgh is a place people want to live.
“Pittsburgh consistently ranks in the top places to live and work in the U.S., with U.S. News and World Report ranking the city #11 in most affordable places to live in the U.S., ” said Ron Croushore, current president of West Penn Multi-List, Inc., and owner and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices The Preferred Realty, Pittsburgh. “The relatively low cost of living in our area is very attractive, especially to first-time buyers.”
WHEN comparing January-March 2017 with the same time period in 2016:
- Closed sales are up 4.25 percent (5,275 units in 2017 versus 5,060 in 2016).
- Closed sales volume is up 7.03 percent ($881,584,375 in 2017 versus $823,707,280 in 2016).
- Average sale price is up 2.66 percent ($167,125 in 2017 versus $162,788 in 2016).
- New listings are up 2.20 percent (9,311 units in 2017 versus 9,111 in 2016).
West Penn Multi-List covers a 17-county service area – Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Crawford, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Croushore’s assessment of the market describes its potential, not its reality.
That upbeat data may give heart to real estate agents but it belies the long-term trend. A recent comparison of Multi-List’s data for total listings as of April 30 shows the extent of the problem. The listings as of April 30, 2017 totaled over 23,000, a decline of more than 7,000 from the total of almost 31,000 homes on April 30, 2008.
“I just spent the morning in meetings trying to figure it out,” replies Howard “Hoddy” Hanna III, CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate, in response to the question of why there aren’t more homes on the market. Hanna leads the region’s largest real estate agency – and the nation’s third-largest – and he offers three observations that can explain the supply problem.
“There is a lack of new construction so there is not the triggered sale of an existing home behind it. Second, people are staying put, which is hard for us to understand. We can see a price gap in listings from $150,000 to $400,000, which means fewer people are moving up. The third factor is that a lot of homes were bought by big private equity firms around the country. We haven’t seen those on the market,” Hanna summarizes.
The latter factor wasn’t as big a factor in Pittsburgh, but private equity funds and investment banks like Goldman Sachs did take three million homes off the market as rentals during the downturn. Hanna’s observation about the slowdown in new construction is quite relevant to Pittsburgh’s situation. The same is true nationally.
Between 2009 and 2016 there were 6.9 million units of new housing started, a number that is well below the average for the previous three decades. Allowing for 1.9 million units of housing that were either demolished, condemned or otherwise removed from the dwelling stock, the net number of homes available in the inventory for occupancy grew by five million from 2009 to 2016.
During the same period, however, population grew in the U.S. by 19.7 million people. Using the historical average of 2.5 persons per household, roughly 7.9 million households should have been formed in those years. That number is nearly three million units more than the net number of new homes in the inventory.
Pittsburgh has not seen the same level of population growth as the rest of the nation, which has prevented the supply issue from worsening. By the same token, the root cause of the housing dilemma – the lack of new development – is more pronounced in Pittsburgh.
The Drag on Development
The environment for residential development was drastically different in Pittsburgh compared to the rest of the U.S. in 2008. While many cities had tens of thousands of lots in the development pipeline, with little demand, when the mortgage crisis hit, Pittsburgh was already in a bit of a lot shortage. So when most cities saw prices for residential land collapse when this decade began, the opposite was occurring in Pittsburgh. Then a perfect storm of sorts made things worse.
Pittsburgh is an old city by U.S. standards, with little flat land available for development. That means the cost of developing lots is higher than other places. Land prices are also higher. The demographics of the stock of developers are typical for Pittsburgh. Developers are older than average. And the makeup of the homebuilders discourages development competition. Any of these factors would be a drag on development. Within the last five to ten years all of these factors combined to choke off new residential projects.
“Land prices are just outrageous if you’re looking at the desirable areas in the North Hills or along the I-79 corridor,” notes Mark Bozzone, owner of Bayberry Development. “A good deal of the money you make in land development is made on the price of the land. If you don’t make a good deal going in, the returns are much lower but the risk is still high.”
Land prices are a function of supply and demand, just like everything else. The maturity of the Pittsburgh market means that the supply of land in desirable locations is smaller. With the steeper topography of the remaining land, developers have to consider the higher cost of preparing the lots and extending utilities as part of that cost equation. Part of that perfect storm, however, is that demand from outside residential development is also impacting land prices. As developers might have been looking to acquire land to boost the lot inventory in 2009 or 2010, their biggest competition for properties was gas companies rather than other developers. This heightened competition pushed prices beyond what could be economically feasible for new home construction, even though the gas industry was only leasing a limited number of acres. The psychological impact on the sellers was almost universal.
“It only takes one sale and every other land owner thinks that’s their number too,” says Bozzone.
“The availability of all land is a problem,” echoes Bill Weaver, CEO of Weaver Homes. The Mars-based builder is also a developer of residential communities. One of the partners in Treesdale in the 1990s, Weaver develops a few lots for other builders, focusing on his own Epcot communities like Altmyer Farms and Bellevue Park. As a builder/developer, Weaver Homes has more flexibility with the return on investment, since creating lots also creates opportunity for profits on building houses. That doesn’t mean Weaver is jumping at opportunities that land developers won’t.
“Land for sale is very expensive and that’s discouraging people from developing. You just can’t make the numbers work,” he concludes.
For developers, the return on investment has to be high enough to justify the risk relative to other opportunities. Bozzone believes that returns from the stock market or commercial real estate have been easier to justify during the recovery. Given the time needed to develop and build out a typical housing community in Western PA, a project has to deliver returns of 25 to 40 percent. Those kinds of numbers just aren’t there for multi-builder custom communities right now, at least not without the kind of density or price point that isn’t feasible in Pittsburgh at the moment. That’s a big reason younger developers aren’t entering the market.
“If you talk to those [older] developers, what they were getting for their investment and the risk they took back then was way more,” asserts Mark Heinauer, president of Barrington Homes. “Now they can sit on their couch and make other investments that don’t have the risk or involve the work that development takes. Younger people don’t have the capital and financing is harder today.”
Economic feasibility is where the makeup of the builder stock in Pittsburgh comes into play. Until the Great Recession, the majority of the homes were built by custom builders that completed fifteen homes or fewer each year. Ron Croushore estimates that his firm sold houses for more than 100 custom builders at one time. Pittsburgh had only three or four builders that would build 50 homes or more per year and realistically only two or three true production-style builders. The size of the market discouraged the large national builders, which typically like to have potential for 1,000 homes, to enter the market. The fact that Ryan Homes, Maronda Homes and Heartland Homes were all based in Pittsburgh probably accounted for why those volume builders remained in Pittsburgh. Since the downturn ended, far fewer custom builders remain active in the market and the share of new construction delivered by the top three builders has jumped to 60 percent or more.
The dramatic shift in market share is another factor for developers – and lenders – to consider. If overall returns are lower because of higher costs, the risk of development can be managed by shortening the time of the investment. A 75-lot project developed for five custom builders may take five or six years to be absorbed. NVR or Maronda or Dan Ryan Builders may take those same lots down in two years or less. That dynamic is an incentive for developers, particularly those with aging ownership, to steer projects to those faster-selling builders, which are more attractive to lenders as well.
On the other side of the coin, these unusual market dynamics create an opportunity for builder/developers like Weaver Homes. Builder/developers can respond to smaller opportunities and are more self-reliant for absorption. In recent years, it’s been companies like this that have crept higher on the list of top builders in Pittsburgh. Among those builder/developers are Costa Custom Homebuilders, RWS Schuster Homes, Barrington Homes and newcomers, Charter Homes.
Rob Bowman, Charter Homes’ president, sees opportunity in the landscape in Pittsburgh as a builder/developer. The Lancaster-based builder doesn’t underestimate the challenges.
“If you’re in the development business and you survived the last fifteen years you have a new appreciation for what risk is,” Bowman chuckles. “If your frame of reference is pre-crash, I don’t think it’s ever going to be that easy again. It’s a tough business and it takes a lot of expertise; it’s a challenging financing environment; there’s nothing easy about the business. We gave up a long time ago thinking it would be the way it was. You can’t look back to go forward.”
“Once that frame of reference changes, I think there are interesting opportunities from two perspectives,” Bowman continues. “One is understanding where the land is and where you need to be in the marketplace is incredibly valuable. And if you do have the skill set and the resources to develop, it’s a good time to be able to do that.”
Barrington’s Heinauer sees development as a creative solution to the Pittsburgh market conditions that don’t favor custom builders. He notes that custom building in the U.S. has fallen from more than 40 percent of the market in 1992 to less than 21 percent today. With his two sons, Heinauer has formed MGD Capital and is looking at six projects in various stages of development. While MGD will develop for other builders – including Ryan Homes – its first project to get into construction is Woodland Trace, a 46-lot custom home community in Adams Township off Mars-Evans City Road.
“We’re developing for ourselves. One of the reasons I may be more comfortable doing it in the custom market is that I build the most homes in the custom market,” Heinauer observes. “I can draw down enough lots each year to build it out in five years and build in other communities too.”
With the formation of MGD Capital, Barrington Homes is able to broaden its services for its customers. As a developer, designer and builder, Barrington has more control over the entire process and the total cost of each home. Rob Bowman also believes understanding and controlling all the costs associated with development is the key to managing the opportunities for return on investment.
“It takes the same amount of effort to develop 20 lots as 200,” he says. “What you have to do is assess the return, not just dollars and cents but the time put into it. To do a 20-lot neighborhood it has to be a pretty amazing location to produce an extraordinary return.”
Charter saw Sewickley as such a location for its 53-unit Edgewood neighborhood and sees similar opportunities at its planned 58-lot Calvert Hill community in Moon Township. At the other end of the spectrum, Charter is developing a major community at the former Mayview Hospital site in South Fayette Township. The community, called Hastings, has 572 dwelling units and will be built around approximately 75,000 square feet of commercial development, offering residents access to retail and services within walking distance.
Well-managed companies like Weaver, Barrington, Costa and Charter have a clearer path to succeed today in an environment where custom building is in decline but even their success will not replace the 1,000 units of housing that seem to be missing from the new construction market in Pittsburgh. Data about both new construction and existing homes validates that the new construction market is constrained by supply problems rather than demand. The demand side of the equation is about to get bigger, if recent data becomes a trend.
Enter the Millennials (And Their Parents)
The problem with the supply/demand imbalance in Pittsburgh is that it could lead to an extended period of hyper-appreciation for housing prices that would erode one of the region’s biggest competitive advantages: affordable housing. For certain, prices would have to grow astronomically fast to become uncompetitive with San Francisco, New York, or Washington, DC. But even without posing a talent attraction threat, rising prices exacerbate a problem that already exists: it costs too much to build lower-priced housing.
All of the development challenges described above add costs to building a house before the foundation is poured. It’s pretty simple math. If the costs to buy and develop land come to $120,000 per lot, and the cost of construction is $125 per square foot for bare bones construction, it means that a 2,000 square foot home is going to run about $400,000 before the builder adds any profit. As homes get larger, the portion of the price that is the development cost gets smaller, meaning that the builder can be more profitable as homes get larger. That puts a lot of pressure on any development of homes that are in the sweet spot for first-time buyers and empty-nesters, which are the two largest groups of buyers.
“What we need are homes in the $300,000 to $350,000 range, which are hard to build in this market,” notes Hoddy Hanna.
Hanna’s concerns get to the heart of the demographic cause of the supply problem. Pittsburgh’s population is aging faster than all but a few cities in the U.S. At the same time, the median age of a Pittsburgh resident has plummeted to 32 years old. Because of that, the median age of an Allegheny County resident is declining too, falling while the median U.S. age is climbing. In other words, Pittsburgh’s population is growing younger than most cities too. This phenomenon was recently recognized by Forbes, which ranked Pittsburgh among the best places for young adults to live. The squeeze in the lower range of housing prices is impacted by both of these trends.
“The cost makes it hard for developers and builders to build cost-effectively. It’s hard to make new construction affordable for first-time buyers,” says Croushore, noting that Pittsburgh’s demographic make-up offers a solution. “We’re always hearing about Pittsburgh being older than anyplace but Dade County, Florida. Guess what? The houses those old people own will be the first-time buyers’ homes.”
“There’s very little product in that right-size house. That buyer usually wants new construction but there is relatively little of that product in the market,” explains Hanna. “We’ve seen the number of buyers under the age of 35 increase dramatically. Since the first of the year, 43 percent of our sales were first-time buyers. All of last year they were 29.5 percent.”
That trend is playing out in cities around the U.S. Adults between the ages of 20 and 35, the so-called Millennial generation, are the largest demographic cohort ever born. The leading edge of that younger generation came of age as the financial crisis roiled the economy and dominated the headlines. Many of these young adults watched the stress of that crisis first-hand. They saw family and friends lose homes. They found employment harder to secure after graduation. These conditions gave Millennials a sense of insecurity about home ownership that previous generations didn’t experience. Instead of seeing a home as their best investment, more Millennials saw it as their biggest risk. As it turns out, time changes those emotions.
As Millennial generation renters mature and come to understand their personal finances, there is a growing realization that the resources devoted to rent would better serve them as equity. Thirty-something Millennials are having babies now at a pace their parents did, meaning that the allures of a responsibility-free life don’t make sense for a nuclear family’s lifestyle. With interest rates still very low, Millennials are converting rent checks into mortgage payments with increasing frequency.
Consider the changes to American lifestyle that have occurred because of the demands of the Baby Boomers. For better or worse (and there has been plenty of worse), Boomers changed the way America sold everything. The American housing market was one of the areas that Boomers had their biggest impact. The number of second homes quintupled because Boomers demanded it and could pay for it. McMansions boomed. The size of the average home grew by 50 percent during the adulthood of the Baby Boomers. Now remember that the Millennials have even greater buying power.
For Pittsburgh’s housing market, the combination of a booming population under the age of 35 and growing Millennial home buying demand is a recipe for supply issues to become a supply crisis. If the trend continues, expect there to be opportunities for a housing boom of sorts in places like Bellevue, McKees Rocks or Sharpsburg. Expect also that communities with great school districts will see big increases in prices.
Therein lies the problem. Pittsburgh has shed its smoky steel town image and has become an attractive place to live and work for people all over the world. Part of that attraction is the affordability of its housing. Will its popularity ultimately ruin its affordability?
If all this sounds like doom-and-gloom, there is a certain amount of that bad news in the Pittsburgh housing market. There are definitely some structural problems that have to be fixed or to which the market must adjust. Here’s the good news: these are growth problems. Compare the Pittsburgh market to that of, say, Las Vegas in 2009, when there were ten homes on the market for every buyer looking. Home prices fell by as much as 70 percent. Perhaps first-time buyers will have to borrow more or for longer than they want or maybe an empty-nester will have to have a small mortgage or put more of their savings into their home as an investment. In both cases, the risk of experiencing the loss of value in a supply-constrained environment is almost nonexistent.
“Pittsburgh is steady. When the market went south in other markets, houses in Pittsburgh held their value,” reminds Croushore. “We weren’t selling houses that were under water. People have equity in their houses here.”
“Pittsburgh is steady. When the market went south in other markets, houses in Pittsburgh held their value,” reminds Croushore. “We weren’t selling houses that were under water. People have equity in their houses here.”
Should prices in Pittsburgh reach an affordability crisis level, the market will take corrective action that will establish a new equilibrium. Demand will have to increase quite a bit first, meaning that there will be an influx of people (and jobs) driving that demand. That’s good for the economy. Rising prices will make developing more lots more lucrative. More lots will relieve the pressure and stabilize prices.
The supply problem in Pittsburgh’s housing market is real. Perhaps some level of outside intervention – like a patient land development loan fund or subsidized urban affordable housing – will accelerate a solution to the problem. In the final analysis, however, it’s not the worst thing in the world to live in a city where the housing isn’t cheap. mg
2018 Pittsburgh Homebuilders
How can you make your dream of owning a new home a reality? The following list of professional builders offer the newest technologies, amenities and creative home designs to help you make informed decisions.
Bachman Builders, Inc
535 Carnot Road, Moon Township, PA 15108
David Bachman, President
Building with integrity since 1996 isn’t just a motto at Bachman Builders. It’s a way of life. With a wealth of architectural knowledge and construction technique, Bachman Builders possesses a diverse portfolio of homes within a wide price range. Our clients bring their unique dreams, ideas and budgets to us and together, we develop a truly custom home. Bachman Builders has never built the same home twice. Call us today for your custom homebuilding experience.
Barrington Homes Incorporated
Barrington Homes is a leader of custom luxury homes in the North Hills of Pittsburgh (Allegheny and Butler County). The Builders Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh awarded Barrington Homes first place in the $1M – $2M category and first place in the $650K-$850K category for the 2014 Housing Excellence Awards. Schedule a meeting today with our designers to discuss your wish list so that they can begin design work on your custom home.
800 S Washington St., Evans City, PA 16033
For over 55 years we’ve been building high quality custom homes in Northern Allegheny and Butler Counties. Building a new home doesn’t have to be scary, our process makes building fun and easy. In our state-of-the-art Home Studio, we have brought everything together in one place. We believe that your home is an expression of yourself and tells your story so we have equipped our Home Studio with everything you can possibly imagine.
Brooks & Blair Homes, LLC
310 Seven Fields Blvd., Seven Fields, PA 16046
Pittsburgh natives, Daniel J. Mancosh and John F. Thompson, Jr., make up the experienced team of Brooks and Blair Homes. Building beautiful homes at affordable prices without sacrificing quality is their expertise. Daniel Mancosh is currently the President of A.R. Building Company, a large Shadyside firm that specializes in the management and building of hundreds of multi-family homes and commercial buildings. Mr. Mancosh is involved in all aspects of design, planning and management of financial operations of all construction. John Thompson is the Senior Vice President of Construction for A.R. Building Company. He has been in the construction industry for twenty-three years. Mr. Thompson is a hands-on builder who can often be found on the site. Mr. Thompson is responsible for land acquisition, land development and building construction. Brooks and Blair Homes is a perfect partnering of experience, providing affordable quality homes.
Charter Homes & Neighborhoods
692 Country Club Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15228
Since 1990, the team at Charter Homes & Neighborhoods has been reimagining the suburbs by creating the most distinctive and sought- after places to live, offering Life A Walk Away™. While each home is unique, together they create examples of The Great American Neighborhood®, where people are brought together to live someplace special. As a result, Charter Homes & Neighborhoods has delivered more than 4,500 homes and earned every major industry award, including the 2014 Gold National Housing Quality Award and the Best Neighborhood in the Country award. The company currently has 20 neighborhoods open across Pennsylvania.
600 Hayden Boulevard (Rt. 51)
Costa Homebuilders Build On Your Lot approach begins with a personal build-on-your-lot specialist who will assist you in locating a lot to build on. If you already own a lot, Costa will work with you to develop the best plan possible in building your dream home. Costa’s New Life Custom Home Building Process with reduce the stress in home building and help you save time and money.
DCI Custom Homes Inc.
331 N. Branch Road, Oakdale, PA 15071
DCI Custom Homes have been building homes for over 22 years. From ground breaking to the closing, Joseph is a presence throughout the whole process. Our company’s most prevalent strength is that we listen to our customers and there needs. We understand that our customers are putting their dreams in our hands and trusting us to provide them with complete satisfaction. DCI specializes on building custom homes on your lot in the Pittsburg area. DCI can also provide service for your outdoor living area while we build your new home. Again we are a builder that listens to are customer needs.
Douglas Erdley, LLC, Custom Homes
144 Breakneck Rd, Ford City, PA 16226
We are a third generation home building company tailoring our services to meet our client’s specific needs! With Over 20 years of experience, we have a highly trained team of contractors to complete the building or renovation of your home, whatever the job may be. As general residential contractors, we can expand a kitchen into a dining area, build out an extra closet (or two) and make your home a more comfortable living space for you and your family. We give each project individual personalized service! Working one on one with our clients to get the house that fits their budget, we offer: Administration and Supervision from Inspection to Completion, Cost Saving Recommendations, Project Scheduling and Quality Control.
Executive Developers, LLC
208 Crawford Court, Mars, PA 16046
T: 724-935-3932 (EXEC)
Executive Developers, LLC has been a custom home builder in the Pittsburgh area for 30 years. Whether you are building a custom home, adding an addition, or remodeling your existing home, we will be there from start to finish. Once you make the decision to work with Executive Developers, you will have the opportunity to work with an architect to custom design the home or addition of your dreams, then sit back and watch as Executive Developers brings those dreams to life.
1028 Oak Ridge Rd., Canonsburg PA 15317
Founded in 1990, Graziani Homes is a true custom home builder. Bill Graziani is a second generation builder. He grew up in his father’s business Graziani Builders founded in 1965. During that time Bill learned quality and old world craftsmanship which soon set the gold standard in home building. Graziani Homes works hard to make the building process effortless for the customer from lot selection in our developments to picking finishes. Bill Graziani believes in doing things right the first time. Where good isn’t enough, and craftsmanship and quality are more than just words. Graziani Homes builds Luxury Homes inspired by your dreams.
One Penn Center West, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15276
Jodie and Ann Marie
For over 30 years, we’ve been passionately committed to building luxury homes of the highest quality and providing exceptional customer care. Our goal is to exceed your expectations throughout every step of the homebuilding experience. Whether it’s the art and functionality of our single-family luxury homes, open floor plans and light-filled spaces of our townhomes or uncompromising luxury and innovative designs of our main-level owner’s suites, we always keep you, the owner in mind. We build homes and communities in Allegheny, Washington and Butler Counties – and Morgantown, WV – Monongalia County.
John Hobart Miller, Inc.
1344 Freeport Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
John Miller, III
From its beginning as a custom home builder in 1927, John Hobart Miller, Inc. has grown to become a well-recognized benchmark of quality in the Pittsburgh area. This tradition of home building excellence stems from a single-minded, company-wide dedication to quality and customer service. Dedication to providing classic designs, fine materials and meticulous craftsmanship which has become the trademark of a John Hobart Miller home. Four times they have been awarded the designation of “Pittsburgh Builder of the Year” and received “Pennsylvania Builder of the Year” award. The John Hobart Miller organization has excellent “in house” design capabilities to accommodate your specific design requirements and desires.
Infinity Custom Homes
903 Penticon Lane, Warrendale, PA 15086
Jodie McCormick – New Home Specialist
Infinity Custom Homes is a premier, custom homebuilder in the Pittsburgh area. We focus on building in the areas top school district, along the 79 corridor, and in the most desirable communities. While we have a variety of floor plans from which to start from, we focus on customizing every home inside & out. Together, we’ll create a home that captures your personal tastes & creativity, bringing your dream home to life. Our goal is to work together offering a truly unique, memorable and enjoyable home buying experience!
3875 Old William Penn Hwy, Murrysville, PA 15668
Jason C. Corna
KACIN founder A. Richard Kacin has been building upscale residential homes, condominiums and communities in the Pittsburgh region since 1960. Headquartered in the Pittsburgh suburb of Murrysville, KACIN also manages the design and construction of an array of commercial and industrial facilities throughout western Pennsylvania through our sister company, KACIN General Contractors.
Kaclik Builders, LLC
1272 Mars Evans City Rd., Evans City, PA 16033
Christopher J. Kaclik, President
Christopher J. Kaclik, founder, owner and custom builder for Kaclik Builders, LLC, has been creating an impressive portfolio of premier custom homes in both Allegheny & Butler County since 1985. A Pittsburgh native, Chris, along with the experienced staff of Kaclik Builders, is one of the most successful custom home builders in the Pittsburgh area. Chris established Kaclik Builders’ reputation through his broad knowledge of the process, his hands-on approach, and his dedication to his customers. Whether a seasoned new home buyer, or a novice, Kaclik Builders’ team is committed to providing an experience that is both satisfying and pleasant. Kaclik Builders has earned its position in this industry by providing clients with the excellence, service and attention they desire, with results they are happy to live with.
2455 Park Avenue, Washington, PA 15301
Kim and Cherie
Keith Homes, owned and operated by the Keith Family for more than 20 years, is a small-volume custom home builder committed to continual improvement and customer service while specializing in sustainable building techniques and quality craftsmanship. We concentrate on building a select number of energy efficient houses each year. Buyers who choose Keith Homes will be working directly with the principals of the company to turn their dreams and wishes into a fabulous new home.
LAD Construction Company, Inc.
1125 Noblestown Road
Oakdale, PA 15071 PA 007781
Consecutive Housing Excellence Award winning, LAD Construction Company, Inc., brings nearly three decades of quality construction to the industry. Leon A. Dwinga, Jr., Master Builder, works directly with the client to custom design a home according to their specifications, lot, and budget and is an on-site, hands on builder that insures every detail is met. “Our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction has earned us the reputation that gives us the leading edge in new home construction”
Millcraft Real Estate Services
Pittsburgh PA 15222
Mark Jennings & Racheallee Lacek
As real estate representatives, Millcraft Real Estate Services offers the flexibility to work with our diverse portfolio of home developers, including eco-friendly Terra Building Group, and modern developers R Kyndall Development Group and M Franko Properties. Our experienced team provides assistance throughout the course of choosing and buying new home construction. Alternatively, we have homes from our trusted developers ready for move-in. Our neighborhoods include Downtown, South Side, Lawrenceville and more.
5949 Steubenville Pike
Robinson Township, PA 15136
Since 1987, Paragon Homes has been building custom homes that are unmistakably yours. Each Paragon home is designed to uniquely fit the family that calls it home. We were founded 30 years ago by a homebuyer who dreamt of a better way. Since then, we have been taking the time to handcraft homes the right way, keeping our focus on the home buyers, helping them create the home of their dreams with an easy, enjoyable process. When quality counts, you deserve a Paragon Home.
Parry Custom Homes
10349 State Route 30
North Huntingdon, PA 15642
Pittsburgh’s Local On Your Lot Home Builder! We specialize in building custom homes throughout Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania on your lot. We welcome you to sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and explore our website. You are one step closer to entering a truly unique and home building experience focused on your specific needs. Our team can help you accomplish your goals and dreams in a fun, efficient, and organized manner. Stop in and visit us at one of our local Pittsburgh showrooms (Irwin, Washington or Cranberry) and you will see why more customers are choosing Parry Homes to build on their lot in Pittsburgh.
Pellis Construction Company
Greensburg, PA 15601
For over 50 years, Pellis Construction has been providing our customers with fine custom homes of unsurpassed quality and craftsmanship. As a design/build firm, we offer our customers the opportunity to work collaboratively with our professional staff to create a custom home of magnificent beauty and enduring value. Our thoughtful approach to every detail ensures that your building experience will exceed your expectations not your established budget. Build with Pellis Construction where your only limit is your imagination!
109 Zeta Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238
PWCampbell is a leading design/build firm headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA with over 100 years of commercial and custom residential experience within the construction industry. A third generation professional organization, we provide homeowners the valuable benefit of a Design/Build team that seamlessly works together to ensure that your project is coordinated with excellent care and quality from start to finish. Our extensive experience and expert knowledge paves the way for creative solutions to take hold, costs to be minimized, schedules streamlined and efficiencies realized. PWCampbell puts the wants and needs of the homeowner first and works tirelessly to ensure the finished product exceeds your expectations.
Rossman Hensley, Inc.
1426 Pittsburgh Road, Valencia, PA 16059
At Rossman Hensley, our residential division services all of Western Pennsylvania. We have a team of craftsman that specializes in the high end residential market. From condominium build outs in downtown Pittsburgh to new home construction in the suburbs, our goal is to provide Western PA residents with a well built and luxurious home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a building experience that incorporates design, customer service, and craftsmanship.
Richland Holdings, L.L.C.
1426 Pittsburgh Road, Valencia, PA 16059
The owners of Richland Holdings, LLC have a combined work experience of over 75 years in the construction industry. Over the past 10 years, we have overseen the construction of hundreds of multi-family dwellings and single family building lots in the North Hills. We are proud to announce the development of SHOFF FARMS, a 48 unit carriage home community in West Deer Township. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for available lots, floor plans, and financing.
One Penn Center West, Suite 220
Pittsburgh, PA 15276
Kristen & Melissa
Since 1948, we’ve grown from a small, family-run business to become one of the top five homebuilders in the country. While there are many reasons for our success, they all revolve around three key factors: our commitment to customers, our consistent quality, and our personalized approach. At Ryan Homes, building a better home means continuously raising the bar. That’s why 98% of our buyers say they would recommend us to family and friends. With over 60 years of experience, trust us to make your dreams come true. Building new home communities in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington & Westmoreland Counties.
102 West Pike Street
Houston, PA 15317
Established in 1999 by Paul and Lisa Scarmazzi of Canonsburg, Pa, Scarmazzi Homes offers lifestyle solutions to those wanting a more carefree form of homeownership in both Allegheny and Washington Counties. By teaming up with Epcon Homes and Communities, the country’s largest builder of single-level living homes, Scarmazzi Homes has provided over 500 patio homes to those that desire a low-maintenance lifestyle. By providing true single-level architecture, lawn services and an unparalleled commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, Scarmazzi Homes has become the choice builder for those looking to simplify.
R. A. Snoznik Construction, Inc.
4455 Old William Penn Highway
Murrysville, PA 15668
Kelly Snoznik, New Home Concierge
Building a custom home calls for many decisions and with personable service, Ray Snoznik works closely with each client, providing extensive guidance throughout the building process. Ray believes in client satisfaction and quality craftsmanship, ensuring that each step throughout the building process exceeds the client’s expectations. Efficient systems are in place to make the building process easy for the client and to expedite construction. Ray is dedicated to delivering your custom home on time and on budget. Accolades include BAMP’s Housing Excellence Awards, Pittsburgh Business Times Largest Pittsburgh-Area Home Builders, and features in Housetrends, Greater Pittsburgh New Home and Whirl magazines.
Spagnolo Custom Homes, Inc.
109 Gateway Avenue, Suite 202
Wexford, Pa 15090
The Spagnolo Family has proudly been in the quality home building/ land developing business since 1955. Originally started by Carl J. Spagnolo and now headed by sons Angelo and Frank, we continue to strive to make our clients experience in homebuilding a very memorable one. 60 YEARS and still going strong! You can find our fine communities in Allegheny, Butler & Westmoreland Counties.
PO Box 238
Presto, PA 15142
Danielle Stambrosky Mach
Stambrosky Homes was founded by George Stambrosky in 1949. When Stambrosky Homes was in its beginning stages, its focus was on great carpentry and craftsmanship. By 1972, Rick Stambrosky joined his father after graduation from the University of Dayton. From the mid to late 1970’s, father and son grew the company from building homes to neighborhoods. Nevillewood was one of their largest projects and Stambrosky Homes is still expanding themselves today. Current developments are in Peters Twp, South Fayette, and Collier Twp. The company has 12 key personnel that facilitate in the construction of new developments and construction of new homes as well as the original passion of their craftsmanship.
Suncrest Homes, Inc.
3819 Old William Penn Highway
Murrysville PA 15668
J. Michael Ruefle, Jr., President
Colleen Ruefle-Haley, Vice President
Suncrest Homes has been proudly building Custom and Semi-Custom Homes as well as room additions for 29 years. Suncrest has always been on the leading edge of new and innovative building concepts and designs. Whether open floor plans, Cottage Villas, Craftsman style homes or traditional living, you can be assured your dreams will be fulfilled by our team of experienced trend setting professionals. Six time Housing Excellence Award winner and members of NAHB, PBA and BAMP Suncrest Homes has homes and communities in Westmoreland and South Butler Counties.
T.D. Kelly Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 407, Zelienople, PA 16063
T.D. Kelly Company, Inc. has a history of building luxury homes in the Pittsburgh area for over 35 years. Our employees have been with us from 10 to 30 years. Very few building companies can boast that longevity and experience. Quality and attention to detail are two overused terms in the home building industry, but come and look at a model home that we’ve built. Our work speaks for itself and our homes become sound investments for our customers.
Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge
114 Union Court, Sewickley, PA 15143
At Traditions of America at Sewickley Ridge, you can have it all – the home of your dreams, a luxurious Clubhouse and resort-style amenities – at a great value. What you won’t have? Yard work. Low-maintenance, award-winning homes in this 55+ community give you the freedom to live bigger, Live Better at Sewickley Ridge.
PO Box 449, Mars, PA 16046
With more than 25 years of design and building experience, Weaver Homes is the premier custom home builder in the Northern Pittsburgh region. Our goal as a builder is to help make your dream home a reality through allowing you to tailor and expand upon our floor plans to suit your unique needs and desires. By working with only the best professional contractors, we offer the quality, integrity, service, attention to details, craftsmanship, and value you deserve in your forever home. Family-owned and operated, we take a very hands-on approach to our construction process. Building a custom home is one of the most emotional experiences you will ever have, and we take that to heart. We think of our homeowners as family; we believe it’s impossible to build someone their dream home without truly getting to know who they are as individuals, as a family member.