Rents Leveling Out in Philly, But University City is One of the Highest Priced ‘Hoods

A one-bedroom averages $1,850 per month in the land of Eds, Meds and Tech, but it's not the most expensive in the city.

Image via Zumper

Image via Zumper

The Philadelphia rental market ranks 16th in the nation in terms of average rents per one-bedroom apartment. As more units come on board in Center City and beyond, new data from Zumper shows that the rise in rents in the city as a whole has stalled, with prices for a one-bedroom dropping 10.5% over the past year (2.9% for two-bedrooms pads).

Unsurprisingly, Center City remains the strongest and most expensive market in Philly, with the highest priced neighborhood, Logan Square (hello, Granary!), averaging $1,870 per month. According to industry experts, renters can now expect to pay over $3 per square foot for rentals in those Class A buildings in Center City, such as Icon 1616, 2116 Chestnut, and even soon-to-debut buildings like 1919 Market and the Dalian at Rodin Square behind the Barnes Foundation (hello, Whole Foods!).

University City comes in a close second at $1,850 per month. According to a recent University City District report, the median rent in the booming Eds, Meds and Tech district sits at $1,450 per month, so expect something in that ballpark, considering the influx of new units planned in the coming years.

The New York Times just profiled multiple developments in University City, which debuted luxury high-rises at 3601 Market and 3737 Chestnut in late 2015, and the shift from student housing to an elevated apartment community experience that prices-out the party-all-the-time crowd. Here’s what Matt Pestronk, of Post Brothers, told the Times: “For a very long time no developer was focused on serving this massive market of young professionals that are working here. There has not been a white-collar, entry-level housing option available at all.”

Center City West (Rittenhouse, Fitler Square), Southwest Center and Fishtown all top an average of $1,600 per month. Renters looking in Port Richmond, Kensington, deep South Philly and the area around Brewerytown look to be paying at or under $900 per month for a one-bedroom apartment.

In a December report, ran the numbers and found that over 57 percent of renters in Philadelphia were “cost-burdened,” meaning they spend over 30% of their income on rent. That number is higher than even New York and Baltimore.

The stagnating rents are part of a national trend, and a new January forecast from Zillow predicts it will continue, including in Philadelphia: “Over the next 12 months, rents in the US are forecasted to increase just 1.1 percent. In Philadelphia, the median rent at the end of 2015 was $1,558, and is expected to decrease to $1,550 over the next 12 months.”