Philadelphia housing grew in value, but avoided large swings in times of excess and stress.
Forbes magazine has named Philadelphia one of America’s Best Long-Term Housing Bets. In a recent article listing the top 10 markets least likely to overheat and bust and the most likely to have vibrant economies moving forward, ranked Philadelphia as the 4th best place to buy a house in the U.S.
Philly housing is far less volatile when it comes to building and vacancy spikes in tough economic times. There’s just less room to grow and few laws that make it easy to do so. In these markets, building activity doesn’t rise as hastily during national booms, and, as a result, doesn’t crash as dramatically during slowdowns (based on historical volatility and current market conditions).
Even Philly’s suburbs, especially those on the Main Line, are carefully zoned and have resisted development. That means a tight supply. Because there isn’t an excess of new homes, Philadelphia has the nation’s third lowest vacancy volatility.
Methodology: Forbes.com evaluated the country’s 40 largest Census-defined metro areas using the last 25 years of NAHB data. They examined new construction and vacancy rates to calculate historical fluctuations in supply and demand against national averages. Moody’s Economy.com provided job-growth forecasts through 2017.
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