Ranked: Philly’s 10 Most Competitive Neighborhoods for Homebuyers

Fishtown is the toughest, but Philly buyers face stiff competition all over the city.
Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Philly’s real estate market is hot right now, and it’s becoming more common for homebuyers to face some serious competition when bidding for their new place.

BizPhilly’s Jared Shelly put us on a report from Redfin that determined Fishtown is the most competitive neighborhood in Philly when it comes to buying a home. The numbers are eye-opening: 16 percent of all listings selling above asking price, 31 percent of Redfin offers in Fishtown faced bidding competition and  38 percent were all cash deals.

But what if you’re not looking to live along the booming restaurant and pub scene along Frankford Avenue? Redfin hooked us up with the top 10 list for all of Philadelphia, which offers some pretty surprising results.

Via Redfin

Via Redfin

Olde Kensington is on fire, with a year-over-year price growth at nearly 52 percent and a median sales price $100,000 above that of Fishtown, its eastern neighbor. And look at the impressive rise in price growth in Germantown, a place that has become a hot spot for home rehabbers, due to the amount of available inventory, and first time homebuyers looking for a place that’s both close to Center City and the suburbs.

South Philly is well represented on this list as well, with nearly 14 percent of homes in Newbold selling for above the asking price. Things in East Passyunk Crossing, the Passyunk Avenue area south of Tasker Street between 6th and Broad Street, have been humming for some time now. Buyers are flocking to the area in and around the avenue to be near shopping and all kinds of top restaurants and a close to the subway.  Naval Square/Devil’s Pocket, the area of Graduate Hospital that steps from Rittenhouse and a quick hop over the South Street Bridge from Penn, saw prices jump over 10 percent compared to last year.

Outside of Fishtown, the competition looks to be fiercest in West Philly, as 22 percent of homes in Cedar Park and Spruce Hill sell above asking price. Both of those ‘hoods are adjacent to all of the action happening in University City. Schools are a huge draw for homebuyers, and all of Spruce Hill and most of Cedar Park fall in the Penn Alexander catchment, one of the top public schools in the city. Homes in Cedar Park are especially popular, which is evident by a average days on market hovering around a month’s time.

“The rankings were based on transaction data from multiple listing services, public records data, and Offer Insights by Redfin agents in 30 major metropolitan areas,” according to Redfin’s Alina Ptaszynski, on the methodology. The data was broken out into seven groups:

  1. Year-over-year median sale price growth
  2. Percentage of listings that sold above asking price
  3. Median days on market
  4. Average ratio of sale price to list price
  5. Percentage of sales that were all cash
  6. Percentage of Redfin offers that faced bidding wars
  7. Average number of competing offers Redfin agents faced in aforementioned bidding wars

So what does it all mean? Well, it shows that house hunters in Philadelphia are facing increased competition for buying a home (good for sellers!), but also that homes in Philadelphia are attainable, especially when compared to other hot cities like San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland and New York (again, see this chart). San Francisco, for example, has four of the top 30 most competitive ‘hoods in the country, each with a median sale price $1.1 million and above. In fact, the top 30 neighborhood with the lowest median sale price is in Brentwood, Portland, which comes in at $237,500.

So, if you’ve been outbid for what you thought was your dream home, keep you head up and stay at it! You’re bound to find one in a great neighborhood soon enough.