Tag Archives: philly

Philadelphia Housing Quarterly Market Update: Q1 2014

Philadelphia’s Housing Continues to Exhibit Bipolar Symptoms in 2014 Q1  by Kevin Gillen

Prices and sales continue to rise in affluent neighborhoods, but decrease or remain flat in others.

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April 14, 2014: Although it has been two years since Philadelphia house prices hit their post-recession bottom, its recovery has not only proceeded in fits and starts, but has also been unevenly—and inequitably—spread across the City’s neighborhoods. The latest stats continue to confirm this trend, indicating improved market conditions in either relatively high-income or gentrifying areas, but continued stagnation or even decline in the rest of the City. The average house value in Philadelphia declined by 4% in Q1, according to the latest data from the City’s Recorder of Deeds. However, this citywide average blends price increases in some neighborhoods with price decreases in others.

 

House prices generally increased in Philadelphia’s more affluent or revitalizing neighborhoods, but fell in most remaining parts of the City, with the poorest neighborhoods experiencing the largest declines. From smallest to largest, the average change in house prices by neighborhood in Q1 were: West Philadelphia (-17.5%), North Philadelphia (-12.9%), Kensington/Frankford (-6.1%), Upper Northeast Philadelphia (-5.9%), Lower Northeast Philadelphia (-5.7%), Northwest Philadelphia (-2.2%), South Philadelphia (+2.5%), University City (+2.7%) and Center City/Fairmount (+6.8%).

 

The median house price in Philadelphia fell to $110,000 in Q1, a 13% decrease from $127,000 in the previous quarter.

 

Home sales volume continued to increase this past quarter on a seasonally-adjusted basis, although activity remains relatively skewed towards the higher-priced vicinities of the City. There were 3,148 arms-length transactions in Q1, up from 2,849 a year ago and up from 2,503 in their post-recession low three years ago. While sales activity is trending positively, overall volume still remains below its historic average of approximately 3,800 sales per quarter. Notably, however, sales of million-dollar homes continue to run well above their historic average, providing further evidence that Philadelphia’s housing recovery remains skewed towards the upper segment of the market.

 

Although price changes remain varied across neighborhoods, this quarter’s citywide average decline has returned Philadelphia’s house price index to near its post-recession low of two years ago. Currently, the index has a value of 375.4, which is only slightly above its value of 372.0 in 2012 Q2.

 

Inventories of homes listed for sale also continued their decline in Q1. Currently, there are 6,798 homes listed for sale in the city, which is very close to the pre-bubble historic average of approximately 6,000, and down significantly from its peak of over 12,000 back in 2006. This decline in surplus inventory combined with the upward trend in sales activity should provide some optimism that supply and demand are continuing to move towards being back in balance with each other.

 

To what extent this quarter’s mixed numbers may be attributable to the adverse effects of an exceptionally cold polar vortex-induced winter is unclear. However, while some neighborhoods in Philadelphia appear to be in full resurgence, the lack of citywide price appreciation stands in marked contrast to those of most other U.S. cities.

 

According to Case-Shiller’s house price indices for the twenty largest U.S. cities, price recovery remains strong and steady in most other cities, compared to Philadelphia’s variance and unevenness. That Philadelphia’s recovery will continue in this way for the near future is supported by the most recent house price forecast from Zillow, which is projecting Philadelphia’s house prices to rise only 1.3% over the course of the next twelve months, while forecasting a 3% increase for the U.S. as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

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Looking for Green Space in Philly? You may have to look up.

Rooftop gardens have been a hot commodity the last couple years. Especially in Philadelphia where land, green garden space and a backyard can be hard to come by. Looking back, the transformation of the rooftop at The Free Library of Philadelphia’s into a garden space seemed ahead of its time.

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(Photo Source: urbangreens.tumblr.com, 2011)

Today, you will find more single family homes with green garden space on their roof, their deck, heck anywhere some sunlight may touch. Schools in the area have also started to adopt this trend as an educational and environmentally friendly way to teach young students the importance of green space in urban cities. South Philly High School (South Philadelphia) and Andrew Jackson Elementary (Passyunk Square) have jumped on the green train! While South Philly High has been fundraising, they have reached their first goal and continue to push for more feedback and funds. Looking out at a magnificent skyline view, just imagine the transformation this roof will take on.

(Photo Source: passyunkpost.com)

As for Andrew Jackson Elementary, they have already implemented their greenery and plan to celebrate their grand opening of their rooftop garden this Saturday (11/23) from 2-4pm. This rooftop launch will be an activity packed afternoon for the entire family. Offering some of Philly’s most renowned food truck vendors, games, crafts, live music, shopping and raffles. Join in with the Passyunk Square community and help support this beneficial project in helping Philly educate our communities on the importance of green living.

(Photo Source: facebook.com/passyunksquare)

Progress so far: These were posted not too long ago in preparation for this weekend. Keep the dirt coming!

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Broad and Washington May See Some Changes.. We Hope!

Recently, a new proposal was heard for the huge vacant lot that sits at Broad and Washington, on the edge of Bella Vista and Passyunk Square. Remember the days of tents and Cirque du Soleil? Elisabeth Garson, a freelance creative director started with a big idea last year. A large scale, outdoor food and flea market with music and activities from March through September.

This proposed project “The Philadelphia Arts Market”, will host craft and flea market vendors, Philly’s favorite food trucks, a stage for local musicians, designated fitness areas and more. The mission is to create weekend ‘must-do’ activities for locals and visitors. Businesses can become engaged through sponsorships and funding while this attraction will be targeting families, young and old. This space is to be viewed as a weekend hot spot making use of this abandoned, eye sore lot.

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(Here’s a rendering from Passyunkpost.com)

Two alternate sites were mentioned in case this proposal is denied; one at Columbus and Reed and the other at Columbus and Oregon. Broad and Washington seem much more centralized that we are excited to follow this proposal. We hope to see this space transform into a weekend landmark for these neighborhoods.  To view more information on Elisabeth and her proposal click here.

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Music In The Park

This Sunday, September 8th, is the Mario Lanza Park Music Month kick off. Starting at 7pm, you can bring the family, bring your dog and don’t forget your chairs.

Queen Village neighbors have been enjoying September Music Month for 13 years. You will be pleasantly surrounded with sounds from one of Philly’s post-modern brass bands,  The Hoppin’ John Orchestra. Established in 1996, they bring  the sounds of jazz, blues and electric to one stage. This ten piece band from Philadelphia will have you on your feet!

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(Image Source: hoppinjohn.net)

Don’t miss it! Starting this Sunday at 7pm. Meet at Mario Lanza Park at 200 Catharine Street for a jazzy night!

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Pop-Up Activities This Weekend

PHS Pop Up Gardens bring environmental and community awareness together. These pop up gardens serve as a meeting ground for locals, visitors, gardeners, beer lovers and all walks of life. This Friday enjoy an afternoon of musical tunes starting at 11am with Philadelphia based band, Ensemble Novo. Starting at 1pm you won’t want to miss the jazz and musical performance “Broadway on Broad” featuring mezzo soprano Alexandra Clint.

On Sunday, wind down with “Natural Craft-a pop up jewelry garden”. Presented by UArts students and alumni, this display will be available all day long with the option to purchase.  Inspired by nature, these jewelry  pieces are to create awareness of jewelry as an art form. This is the third annual pop-up garden in Philadelphia. This public landscape brings horticulture and the arts together. Offering a variety of drink specials and small plates, this garden will be open through October. Events are frequent at the Pop-Up Garden so be sure to check their calendar.

Screen shot 2013-08-15 at 12.26.23 PM(Image Source: phsonline.org)

Inspired by the Pop-Up beauty, head over to Dickinson Square Park this Saturday, August 17th. They are holding a one hour long clean up. Racking, weeding and trimming are some activities you may participate in. From 9-10am help your neighbors make this park clean and safe. Can’t make it this time? Head out on Saturday August 24th, same time, same location.

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August 15, 2013 · 5:11 pm

New Condos In Society Hill

 

Traditionally suburban home developer Toll Brothers–of Naval Square fame–has set its sights on Society Hill, with a 69 unit, 68 feet tall condo unit by Headhouse Square, in the NewMarket site, as Plan Philly reports. With red brick and limestone wainscoting, this structure is deeply respectful of its historic surroundings.

Designed and contracted in-house, this project will also feature a small public space on the Headhouse Square side. Take a look at the renders and see for yourself.

Nevertheless, some near neighbors remain opposed to the structure: parking and sunlight issues have been brought up. Considering the rather vexed history of this site, we here are crossing our fingers and hoping everything gets worked out, and they are allowed to build.

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