Philly Housing is Having a Growth Spurt

"Neither of us can remember, in our lifetimes in this city, a construction boom of this magnitude."

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.

According to Jacobs, the Center City District estimated that in 2012, developers had constructed 463 residential units in the area. The CCD now predicts developers could build up to 2,600 residential units, most of which would be luxury and mid-market housing, this year. Victory Pinckney of the Homeowners Association of Philadelphia added that “what’s going on in Center City is causing it to expand outward.”

But how long could this housing bubble last? Here’s more from Next City:

[Steve] Mullin [of Econsult Solutions] thinks Philadelphians are natural pessimists about their long-suffering economy. “It’s a very Philadelphia thing to say, ‘how can we support two water ice stands?’”

“Boom cycles end,” he acknowledges, but “do they just sort of retreat back to some sort of manageable level or do they bust?” In this case, he thinks the strength of the city’s other sectors make it unlikely the floor would fall out of the housing market.

Jacobs writes that realty tracking firm Reis says “[e]very indicator we have seen, as well as discussions with lenders and developers, suggests that the demand remains strong for the new units that are coming on line.”

Is Philadelphia in a Housing Bubble? [Next City]