Urban Homeownership Is Dying Away

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

Not much vacancy. | Photo By Shutterstock

[Updated at 8:15 p.m. with context from a Pew Philadelphia Research Initiative study on the same subject.]

Cities are booming, but urban homeownership is fading fast, a new study out of the New York University’s Furman Center shows.

In 2006, renters outnumbered homeowners in just five of the nation’s 11 largest cities: Miami, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. But by 2013, renters dominated in nine of the top 11 cities.

Not included in that list? Philadelphia. Read more »

Report Finds Philly Is Among the Best Markets for Renting to Millennials

Millennials have no doubt been the source of several headlines these last few years, and it looks like the Generation Y-talk won’t be stopping anytime soon.

Case in point, a recently released RealtyTrac report which, in addition to examining the best U.S. markets for buying residential rental properties in the first quarter of 2015, takes a look at the best markets for renting to millennials.

The results? Well as you can see from the chart below, the Greater Philadelphia Area, which saw a 25 percent increase in its millennial population between 2007 and 2013, has one of the country’s highest annual rental returns thanks to an 18.78 percent annual gross yield.

Read more »

Morning Headlines: Millennials Drove East Market and the Gallery Renovation

east market rendering detail

Detail from one of the East Market renderings. Courtesy National Real Estate Development.

As per a report by the Center City District and the Central Philadelphia Development Corp., the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Natalie Kostelni writes that the retail scene in Center City has been gaining momentum thanks to youthful newcomers: “Millennials, young families, office workers and tourists visiting the city.”

Ever since these groups have made their way into Philadelphia, retailers have followed. Sayeth Kostelni:

The demand and buying power of this combined group has translated into attracting a diverse mix of retailers – 250 apparel stores, 133 food and drink establishments, and 444 full-service restaurants. It has also grabbed the attention from national chains including Forever 21, Nordstrom Rack, Uniglo, Michael Kors, Timberland among others that have opened up stores this year in Center City. Even though these national players have gotten a foothold in the city, 77 percent of retailers downtown continue to be boutiques, independents and regional firms, the report said.

Read more »

The Decline in Homeownership Is My Fault

Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon in "Singles" were prototypical Gen Xers. And do they look like homeowners to you?

Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon in “Singles” were prototypical Gen Xers. And do they look like homeowners to you?

Atlantic Senior Editor Derek Thompson breaks down recently released Census stats that reveal that American homeownership is at a 19-year low. He’s a man with a good sense of humor, and he starts strong:

Let’s begin with the youths, as we must. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a journalist in possession of a negative statistic must find a way to blame Millennials for it.

Yes, Derek, and this is as it should be, I’m afraid, since millennial journalists are not helping matters. I recently heard a millennial pundit on NPR justify her generation’s value by noting that Mark Zuckerberg is a millennial. I mean, sometimes your generation just hangs itself. Read more »

Study Finds Young College Grads Spur On Economic and Neighborhood Revitalization

Yesterday, City Observatory published “The Young and Restless and the Nation’s Cities,” a report focusing on 51 metropolitan areas (with a population of 1 million or more) that saw a particular change in their close-in neighborhoods, or “places within 3 miles of the center of each metropolitan area’s primary central business district.” You can read the full report here.

The gist of it, though, is this: Using recently released data from the American Community Survey, the study found that “urban cores” lured in a higher number of college-educated young adults–even in population-declining areas like Buffalo and Cleveland.

These migrating millennials (the 2012 study, which looked at people between the ages of 25 and 34, labels them as such in one of their graphs) displayed higher four-year college attainment rates than those from 2000, which is a good thing, according to the report: Read more »

Confession: I’m Black, and I Used to Be Afraid to Walk Around Fishtown

Fishtown-frankford-ave-photo-jeff-fusco-940x540

This September marked the start of my 32nd year of residence in this city. And for all of those previous 31 years, I’ve treated this place as my oyster. It’s part of my nature: No matter what city I’m in, I want to take it all in, or as much of it as time will allow. Thirty-one years is a lot of time, and in that time, I’d set foot in every neighborhood in this city.

With — until pretty recently — one big exception.

Like most black Philadelphians, I had heard stories about Fishtown. It seemed that we weren’t welcome there. I’d read stories about blacks getting harrassed, and worse, when they moved into the neighborhood.

And I wasn’t alone.

Read more »

RealtyTrac Heat Map Reveals Where Millennials and Baby Boomers Are Going

RealtyTrac heatmap showing where the largest shift in millennial population is occuring.

RealtyTrac heatmap showing where the largest shift in millennial population is occuring.

Which counties are seeing an influx of millennials? Which are seeing rapid emigration? And where the heck are baby boomers going? RealtyTrac’s latest report answers these and other questions after analyzing Census population data in over 1,800 counties between 2007 and 2013.

In addition to using the Census data to track each generation’s migration patters, the study used rental rates and median prices to see what prompted millennials and baby boomers to go certain places and not others. (For the record, RealtyTrac defines baby boomers as people born between the years 1945 and 1964, and millennials as those born between 1977 and 1992.)

Here’s what the real estate website found in its analysis: Read more »

Phillies Introduce Phone Charging Station at Citizens Bank Park

Photo courtesy of the Phillies.

Photo courtesy of the Phillies.

Monday night, the Phillies will honor Jimmy Rollins for setting the team record for hits. They’ll also be introducing a new feature to Citizens Bank Park: A phone charging station. No longer will you have to turn off your phone or put it in airplane mode in order to save your battery while at the ballpark. The Phillies will also be providing cords.

The charging station sits on the rooftop outside the TV booth in center field. (If you’re facing the skyline while on the rooftop, it will be on the left side.) What’s nice about the Phillies’ charging station is you’ll still be able to watch the game while your phone charges. And the rooftop is the perfect place for people-watching at CBP as well (if you’re into checking out thousands of people in t-shirts).

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Gen Y to Boomers: You Taught Us to Be “Flaky Dreamers”

shutterstock_generation-y

Bitching about an up-and-coming generation is nothing new. And now it’s Gen Y’s turn to bear the brunt of the complaining. We have been dubbed entitled, lazy, over-sharing and egotistical. While I don’t dispute that social media rules our lives or that we can be wishy-washy when it comes to choosing a career, I do think that my generation has been put under more intense scrutiny than prior generations thanks to the information age that we live in.

If you do a Google search on “bad things about Gen Y,” some 586 million results will pop up compared to the sparse 32 million or so for “good things about Gen Y.” The latest articles to “explain” millennials (such as this by my colleague Sandy Hingston) perpetuate the negative stereotypes. We’re seen as a group of whiners who don’t have a work ethic and think we’re all special snowflakes or Peter Pan. Many of these pieces fail to address the economic shit-show that happened while most of us were preparing ourselves for post-collegiate life. But I digress.

Read more »

Philadelphia Rental Market Poised for Takeoff

millennialsThe prospects for new multifamily construction in Philly look good in the long run, a panel of insiders say – but there are some matters that need to be addressed for the market to truly blossom. The millennial generation (pictured at left) is getting tired of living with its parents and is ready to strike out on its own. Developers and investors are now giving them the apartments to rent here, and are ready to supply even more if the jobs they need materialize.

That was the rough consensus of the panelists who spoke on the state of the Philadelphia rental property market at the RealShare Philadelphia conference at the Union League Feb. 27.

Things are picking up on the multifamily front, said panel moderator Jerald M. Goodman, partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. In fact, he said, “Multifamily is hot.”

Read more »

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