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.

Northern Liberties

Not just for artists anymore.


Median home price: $329,750
Increase in median household income (1999 to 2011): 113.5 percent
Increase in residents aged 20 to 54 (2000 to 2010): 64.2 percent

You probably think you know who’s moving into NoLibs: funky, arty types with fixed-gear bikes and glasses cooler than yours, right? Wrong. That was the case a decade ago, but today the neighborhood long known for its gritty ethos and jam-packed restaurants is attracting a different crowd: suburban empty nesters and professional folks earning $100,000 and up.

It’s true that most newcomers don’t bother with the local elementary schools (part of the Philadelphia School District), instead going private or charter, but the most common complaint you hear? Parking. Otherwise, old-timers and newbies alike seem evangelical about their ’hood—even in the face of probable AVI tax hikes.

In fact, the place has become so desirable, says realtor Rich Fravel, that the market is extremely limited right now; homes being built are going under agreement in three months’ time. “Nothing is sitting,” he explains. “And good luck finding any single-family home below $350,000.” For that, you need to look north to Fishtown—but Fravel says the difference between NoLibs and Fishtown is increasingly negligible: “The line is becoming blurred, mostly due to a lack of inventory in Northern Liberties.”

Northern Liberties, My NoLibs:

Lara Kelly, 45, a coordinator with the Northern Liberties Neighborhood Association, who lives with her partner and daughter.

“Northern Liberties is like a small town in the 1950s. People are accountable to their neighbors; they look out for each other, for each other’s kids. Whether or not we can stay remains to be seen, since our real estate taxes are tripling. One thing that has kept us here is that we could keep our quality of life and send our kid to a Quaker school. Once the taxes go up, we can’t afford that. It will be a sad day, because we never envisioned leaving this house.”

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

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