Morning Headlines: Home Sales in Philadelphia Continue to Pick Up

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Construction is booming in University City and throughout, so that must mean people are buying, right? Well, according to an economist at the Recorder of Deeds Office, Philadelphia’s third quarter did see home sales continue to rise. The Inquirer’s Al Heavens has the story:

An analysis of data from the Recorder of Deeds Office by economist Kevin Gillen showed that sales volume, well below normal since the real estate downturn began in 2007’s third quarter, rose significantly in this year’s third quarter from the second, especially in lower-priced neighborhoods.

Just under 4,000 transactions were recorded in the July-September period – the first time since 2010 that sales have exceeded their historic quarterly average of 3,800, Gillen said.

The 3,937 sales recorded in the third quarter represented a 14 percent increase from 3,466 in the second, he said.

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Morning Headlines: There’s a Construction Boom in University City

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

4101 Sansom, in development by Campus Apartments. Photo: Laura Kicey

No doubt new projects sprouting around the city are contributing to Philadelphia’s growth spurt, but University City in particular has been seeing a substantial rise in developments that had last been present decades ago. According to Natalie Kostelni of the Philadelphia Business Journal, the neighborhood is getting over $1 billion in funds for new constructions.

Other positives alongside the building boom include:

Jobs and employment have risen, population grown, housing stock increased, the number of restaurants and retailers crept up and the amount of office inventory has expanded and maintains an enviable 96 occupancy rate, according to University City’s latest annual report. An abundance of development activity is underway and billions of dollars more will eventually be set in motion.

Among the projects planned to help revitalize the West Philly neighborhood even further are the 40th St. trolley station renovation, which is a collaboration between the University City District, SEPTA, and various city agencies.

University City on the rise [Business Journal]

More news this way…

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Philly Housing is Having a Growth Spurt

Photo credit: Flicker user Jeanette Runyon.

Photo credit: Flickr user Jeanette Runyon.

In a contributing article to Next City, Emma Jacobs reports that Philadelphia could be in the midst of an unprecedented housing boom. The growth spurt is evident throughout the city, which was ranked in third place by the Associated General Contractors of America in a list of metro regions who saw a rise in construction jobs.

“Neither of us can remember, in our lifetimes in this city, a construction boom of this magnitude,” said deputy mayor of economic development Alan Greenberger during the announcement.

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Zillow: Home Values and Rents Are Up

home-for-sale

Zillow’s latest research shows that nationally and locally home values are up, based on an analysis of 515 metropolitan and micropolitan areas, with 35 of the largest metros areas — Philadelphia included. Here are some overarching stats:

U.S. home values rose 0.5 percent in August 2014 from July, to $175,600.
On a year-over-year basis, home values were up 6.6 percent from August 2013.
The last time national home values were at this level was in March 2005.
Rents were up 3.3 percent on an annual basis.
The calls for 3.1 percent appreciation from August 2014 to August 2015.

In August, Philadelphia, like most of the largest metros, experienced an increase in home values. But it wasn’t a leader: The highest increases were in Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Riverside and Atlanta. Even so, none of the increases bring any of the metros up to the peak home values from April 2007.

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Heat Map: Home Prices in the Last 10 Years

RealtyTrac released this heat map today, and it’s pretty interesting if you can wrap your head around the various data points on which the map is based:

RealtyTrac analyzed median residential property prices from January 2004 through March 2014 in 1,567 counties nationwide, identifying the peak and trough prices and the months in which those occurred. The analysis also looked at the percentage from peak for median prices in March 2014 as well as percentage peak in each year from 2004 to 2013.

Note this local bit:

724 counties (46 percent) were still 30 percent or more below 10-year peaks in March 2014, including Philadelphia County, Pa., at 31 percent below peak.

 

 

Philly Is in Top 10 Metros Where Home Buyers Pay Cash

Chart by Redfin.

Chart by Redfin.

According to Redfin, 32 percent of homes purchased in 2014 in the country’s 17 largest cities were paid for with cold, hard cash. Since 2011, cash sales have represented about a third of the market activity. The reasons?”Tighter mortgage lending standards, investor purchases and fewer homes on the market,” says Redfin.

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Midday Headlines: Real Estate Market Edition

housing in graduate hospital

Photo: Liz Spikol

Sometimes you hear millennials are the key to the housing recovery. Other times you hear they’re ruining everything. And that’s not the only conflicting report out there. Today we have a handful of recent stories that will, we hope, clarify things — even though they may hold opposing points of view.

Housing Barometer: Recovery Staggers Forward [Daily Finance]
What Housing Recovery? [NYT]

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Pew: Housing Market Is the Bright Spot in Philly’s Cloudy Skies

millennialsA younger, better educated, upwardly mobile horde has descended on Philadelphia, transforming swaths of the city into something barely recognizable to old-timers. This demographic touched off a residential building boom last year, the single strongest positive indicator of the city’s rebound, according to the Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative’s latest “Philadelphia: State of the City” update.

More than half of all Philadelphians are now under the age of 35, and 26 percent are between the ages of 20 and 34, when young adults are in the process of launching careers and households. Building places for these residents to live has become a growth industry: in 2013, the city issued building permits for 2,815 new housing units, the most in a decade. That new construction has an estimated value of $465 million, the highest on record.

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Philadelphia: Second Best Market for Home Buying in U.S.

Detail from Zillow's Buyers and Sellers map.

Detail from Zillow’s Buyers and Sellers map.

This is good news! Zillow.com has ranked Philadelphia No. 2 in its list of the 10 best buyers’ markets. What does that mean? From Zillow Blog:

In buyers’ markets, homes for sale stay on the market longer, price cuts occur more frequently and homes are sold for less relative to their listing price.

“In the East, housing markets are appreciating a bit more slowly, and homes are staying on the market longer, which helps give buyers the upper hand,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries

“In general, buyers in sellers’ markets this spring can expect tight inventory, increased competition and a greater sense of urgency. Sellers in buyers’ markets may need to be prepared to lower their asking price, or to wait longer for the perfect buyer to come along.”

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Philadelphia Is in Top 10 Most Unequal Metros

homeless man in septa station

Photo: Liz Spikol

Writing for Trulia Trends and The Atlantic Cities, Trulia’s CEO Jed Kolko says what the Occupy movement brought to mainstream consciousness, even as everyone derided those who soapboxed the message: “Income inequality has been growing in America, driven by technology, globalization, and other factors. It’s caused tensions between the haves and have-nots, which often get played out at the local level, and these tensions have erupted into fights over housing affordability and public services.”

Kolko examines income inequality in the 100 largest metros for the years 2012, 2006, 2000, and 1990. Based on collected Census data, Kolko finds that the Philadelphia metro’s rich-poor gap is in the top 10 — No. 7, to be exact. Here’s a chart:

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