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.


Limited space and émigrés from University City have created a boomlet in this classic ‘hood.


Median home price: $429,000
Increase in number of properties sold (2011 to 2012): 11.7 percent
Residents with a B.A. or higher in 2011: 78.2 percent

Central location, restaurants, shopping galore, safe streets, beautiful bro­wnstones—it’s no huge shock that property values on these tree-lined city blocks have been up since 2009. More surprising is just how much change the tony zip code has seen in the past year. To wit: When Dranoff Properties took over the financially plagued luxury condo project 10 Rittenhouse in 2011, only 38 of the building’s 142 units (priced at an av­erage of $1.5 million) had been sold. Since then, Dranoff has done a whopping $138 million in sales—a v­eritable “stampede,” says Carl Dranoff. What’s more, the mad rush doesn’t stop at condos with a view of the Square: The total number of properties sold in the area shot up almost 12 percent last year alone, with most deals ending in “a competitive-bid situation,” says realtor and 30-year resident Ellen Steiner. And while limited inventory (read: not much more room to build) definitely fuels sales, Steiner credits two big-name neighbors as keys to Rittenhouse’s growth: Penn and Drexel. The u­niversities’ continued expansion efforts are quickly tying University City to the western parts of Rittenhouse Square—opening them up to hundreds of university and hospital employees eager for an address in the city’s most prestigious neighborhood.

Rittenhouse: A Glamorous City Experience:

  • Rittenhouse is a hit with … empty nesters, families, Penn docs, singles and couples … everyone who can afford it.
  • The food scene … rocks. Starr and Garces are both well represented, and locals are excited about the new Fitler Dining Room, from the folks behind Pub & Kitchen.
  • Shopping … is good, and improving. Walnut Street continues to lure big-name brands, and local boutiques like Knit Wit and Joan Shepp are planting themselves on Chestnut and Walnut.
  • Schools … Many parents opt for private or charter schools.
  • Residents’ pet peeves … Street parking, and incomprehensible amounts of dog poop on sidewalks.
  • Neighborhood gossip … These days, you can’t walk (or park) on Walnut Street without stumbling upon a row of movie trailers. In 2012, Dead Man Down (Colin Farrell!) and Paranoia (Harrison Ford!) filmed scenes here.

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

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