Apartments Got Cheaper In Philly This Year, Ranked 16th Highest in the Nation

A 5.3 percent drop in rents bucks a national trend.

Photo by James Losey, Creative Commons License

Photo by James Losey, Creative Commons License

You might not have noticed this amidst all the openings of new high-end (and high-rent) apartment buildings this year, but the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia actually fell in 2015.

Figures released yesterday by the apartment-search website Zumper show that the median asking rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia as of November 2015 was $1,240, down 5.3 percent from the year-ago figure. In addition to bucking a national trend of rising rents, the drop was the fourth-greatest for any U.S. city. Rents fell further in Cleveland (-10.3 percent), Louisville (-6.7 percent) and Columbus, Ohio (-6 percent) than they did here.

The median rent also fell 4.6 percent from the previous month and the previous quarter. The month-to-month drop wasn’t enough to knock Philadelphia off the list of 25 most expensive cities for rentals, but it did send our ranking down three places, to 16th. And in case anyone needed reminding why New Yorkers keep checking this city out, the Big Apple held onto second place on that list; its median rent of $3,240 is a good $2,000 a month above Philadelphia’s and only barely nosed out by #1 San Francisco’s $3,500 a month.

With new apartment buildings rising all over the city, it will be interesting to see what happens to Philly’s average rents in the coming years. We already know that New Yorkers move to Philly at a higher clip than any other city in the nation, will we see an even greater influx due to the relative affordability of apartments, houses and condos?