Grounds for Confidence in Philly Real Estate.
Center City’s residential development boom has changed the demographic profile of Center City Philadelphia, as well as helped to insulate it against the current national economic downturn, according to a new report released by the Center City District/Central Philadelphia Development Corp.
Along with analyzing local market and demographic statistics, the report summarizes several recent surveys the organization has made of Center City residents and property owners. The findings all point to a downtown that is well-positioned to take advantage of the country’s changing economic and cultural trends and the impact of rising fuel costs.
- Since passage of the 10-year tax abatement in 1997, 10,316 units of housing have been constructed in an expanding Center City, stretching from Girard Avenue in the north to Tasker Street in the south.
- Despite a recent cooling in the market since the peak in 2006, the average home sales price in Center City is still 39.2% higher in the first half of 2008 ($383,000) than in 2003 ($275,000). Houses are staying on the market an average of only eight days more than in 2003.
- In 1998, only one condominium sold for over $1 million. In 2007 the number was 115.
- There were only 4 foreclosures so far this year among the thousands of condos within the CCD and just 72 (0.33%) among the 22,000 owner-occupied homes in the broader Center City housing market.
- Philadelphia’s foreclosure rate was the lowest among the country’s ten largest metro areas in 2007.
- Rental vacancy rates in Center City dropped from 5.6% to 5.0% between 2005 and 2007.
- 22,000 residents now live within the boundaries of the Center City District; the area from Vine to South Streets, river to river has seen its population increase to 57,000 residents, while all the neighborhoods now considered as part of the downtown now contain over 90,000 residents.
- 41% of respondents to a 2006 residential survey had recently moved from outside Philadelphia.
- 88% had at least a college degree, 47% had an advanced or professional degree.
- In the 2007 survey of condominium owners, seventy-three percent worked downtown, 50% walked to work, 28% took public transportation.
- The birth rate in Center City jumped by 7.8% between 2000 and 2005, a total of 11,372 children were born to downtown parents.
The full report, Residential Development 2008: Grounds for Confidence, can be downloaded from www.CenterCityPhila.org.