In fact, median home values in the Pittsburgh metro area were only $134,700 in 2014, a full $50k less than the national median value.
Allentown's opportunities for Pittsburgh real estate investors are emblematic of the kind of deals available to those wishing to capitalize on the rebirth of America's great Rust Belt cities. While the Rust Belt's economy has rebounded somewhat since the great recession, its real estate values are still remarkably affordable.
Prices in Buffalo, NY are even lower -- well more than half of the city's homes are sold for less than $100,000. Median property values in the Buffalo metro area in 2014 were $123,400, according to the American Community Survey. Investors that are able to take advantage of these low prices are betting that values will eventually rise to match the acceleration of local economies.
Of course, just saying that something has a low price doesn't mean that it's a good deal. Rust Belt cities also offer a number of cultural and infrastructure advantages which complement their low prices and make them attractive places for many people to live. Short commute times, low tax rates, and cultural amenities provide accommodating environments for young professionals that defy urban stereotypes of expensive and inaccessible cities. A look at the quality of life indicators in Data USA shows us some of these factors.
Many Rust Belt cities have relatively low traffic congestion. At 20.5 minutes, Buffalo's average one-way commute time is 20% lower than the national average, illustrated in the graphic below.