Morning Headlines: Home Sales in Philadelphia Continue to Pick Up

But compared to other cities, Philly's housing recovery is still behind.

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco

Construction is booming in University City and throughout, so that must mean people are buying, right? Well, according to an economist at the Recorder of Deeds Office, Philadelphia’s third quarter did see home sales continue to rise. The Inquirer’s Al Heavens has the story:

An analysis of data from the Recorder of Deeds Office by economist Kevin Gillen showed that sales volume, well below normal since the real estate downturn began in 2007’s third quarter, rose significantly in this year’s third quarter from the second, especially in lower-priced neighborhoods.

Just under 4,000 transactions were recorded in the July-September period – the first time since 2010 that sales have exceeded their historic quarterly average of 3,800, Gillen said.

The 3,937 sales recorded in the third quarter represented a 14 percent increase from 3,466 in the second, he said.

In addition to the sales upswing, home appreciation has started to even out as well:

Since the market here hit bottom more than two years ago, many higher-priced and higher-income neighborhoods have seen significant recoveries in both property values and sales activity. Yet other neighborhoods have struggled to catch up.

“However, this [third] quarter saw some of the biggest post-bubble price appreciation in many of the city’s lower-income areas, while higher-income neighborhoods appeared to take a timeout,” Gillen said.

One realtor added that rehabbed properties in particular (especially those found in “lower-and mid-range-income areas”) had seen an increase in price appreciation:

Ruth Feldman, of Weichert/McCarthy Associates in Mount Airy and Germantown, said she has seen price appreciation in the many rehabs that seem to be prevalent in the lower- and mid-range-income areas.

“There is a lot of investor activity and competition in these areas,” Feldman said. “Those rehabbed properties sell quickly and for the best prices, which may account for the appreciation in those areas as opposed to the higher-income areas.”

For all this, however, Gellin noted that Philadelphia’s housing recovery “continues to lag those of most other large U.S. cities.”

3Q data show Phila. home sales still rebounding [Inquirer]

In other news…

Nearly 80 Philadelphia-based developments seek $341M in state funds, says report [Business Journal]

Dance With Us Through The Baum Building’s History [Hidden City]

Trumbauer-designed ceiling installed – and updated – a century later in the Union League [PlanPhilly]

Camden plans to demolish nearly 600 houses [Inquirer]