Real Estate

Population and Housing Market are Bright Spots in Philadelphia

Any old-timer who goes to Philadelphia now will barely recognize it, as it is now teeming with younger, vibrant young faces,, often fresh out of college. This transformation was brought about by a residential building boom in recent years, which is considered the single strongest positive indicator of the rebound of Philadelphia.


Over half of all Philadelphians are now under 35 years old, and 26% are aged between 20 and 34, where most of them are in the process of getting settled in these new homes and starting a career. Building places for these younger trendsetters has become a growth industry: the previous year, more than almost 3,000 building permits for new housing units were issued by the city. This new construction has an estimated value of about $465 million, the highest on record.

Fueled by the 7th straight year of population growth for the city, now over 1,550,000, Philly is bouncing back better than most cities across the country. However, this year’s increase was smaller than those in previous years; it is still a very positive sign for the housing market in the Delaware Valley.

A factor that might have contributed to continuing weaker performance in early 2014 is a crisis in Philadelphia public schools. Public school enrollment fell 6% the previous year, the steepest one-year drop in at least the last 10 years. Enrollment in charter school continues to climb, though, to the point where charters now enroll about half as many students as the school district does. Parochial school enrollment stabilized last year after a decade of decline.


The trend on total school enrollment  for K-12 is going downward, but we are seeing post high school enrollments climbing. This is a signal that families are still inclined to leave the city when their children reach school age. This can be a good thing, though, as the report points to a strong inverse correlation between the percentage of families with young children in a city and its overall economic performance. Simply, the fewer families with kids, the stronger is the economy of the city.

Other significant trends noted are murder cases in the city plunged the previous year. Poverty rate also dropped a bit. And while the city had 3,800 more jobs than last year, most of most of these newer jobs tend to be blue collar positions in construction, hospitality and other service industries.

Most of this information combines to a stronger real estate marketing highlighting lofts for sale in Philadelphia going to that under 30 crowds. Investing in the city is realized with more commercial building construction. For more info on the residential market, consult with a Philadelphia real estate expert and try using a real estate search engine for Philadelphia to locate a deal specific to your own needs.

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