The Hottest Philadelphia City Neighborhoods

From Graduate Hospital to Fishtown, these are the highly coveted, most beloved and fastest-growing hoods that Philly has to offer.

Graduate Hospital

Cooler and cheaper than Rittenhouse, G-Ho’s the new go-to for youngish buyers planting roots in Philly.

Median home price: $285,500
Increase in number of properties sold (2011 to 2012): 23 percent
Increase in residents with a B.A. or higher (2000 to 2010): 98.4 percent

“If you want to live in a city in the first place,” says real estate agent Amanda Saunders, “it’s about walkability and proximity to the city’s attractions.” Therein lies much of the appeal of G-Ho, which in recent years has exploded into one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. With Rittenhouse and Center City real estate both scarce and expensive going into the mid-2000s, it was only natural for the increasing numbers of city-dwellers to turn to the nearest streets to try and capture what perks they could. This created a self-sustaining momentum: The more people moved there, the more people moved there.

At 8.9 incidents per 1,000 residents, G-Ho is significantly safer than the average Philadelphia neighborhood. According to the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, G-Ho also is home to more artists than the average Philly ’hood. The result of it all? Property values increased last year at a rate sure to continue to attract investors, but not so much that the neighborhood is inaccessible to first-time homebuyers. The popularity of G-Ho is also fomenting development in nearby Point Breeze, where the living still qualifies as urban pioneering—but new residents are trickling in.

Single professionals, young marrieds, new parents, and oldsters who knew the neighborhood when the pickings weren’t so lush are all on board, forging the area into a close-knit community. “It’s very special here,” says Andrew Dalzell, programs coordinator of the South of South Neighborhood Association. “I mean, there are the reasons people move here, and then the reason people stay.”

Graduate Hospital: It’s All About the Schools

The big news these days—aside from occasional restaurant openings (hoorah for Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat on South!)—revolves around schools. Three sit within a five-block radius, acting as exhibits A, B and C in the continuing evolution of G-Ho. Edwin Stanton Elementary and Chester A. Arthur, two public schools with not-great Great Schools rankings, have essentially been adopted by the neighborhood’s residents, who have worked and fund-raised to initiate renovations of Stanton’s playground and a $2 million master plan for broad improvements at Chester A. Arthur. The Philadelphia Free School, with tuition assistance available on a sliding scale, signals the neighborhood’s paradigm-busting ambition: Started by former G-Ho residents, the place empowers kids to make up their own curricula and vote on punishments.

Data derived from HomExpert Market Report, a product of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, Research Division.

Click here to see our thoughts on Fishtown/Kensington.