Center City Housing Market Doing Well – by Philly Standards, Report Finds

Report finds bright spots in Center City housing market but room for improvement

One of the takeaways from Center City District’s latest annual housing report was that Philadelphia is doing well — by Philadelphia standards.

When compared with peer cities, Philadelphia is still middling. Middling in the growth of jobs, incomes, housing prices and reinvestment. Middling in permits issues. While the increase in residential construction is “impressive by local standards,” Philadelphia County ranks 62nd among the 100 largest counties in terms of units permitted since 2010.

All of which has a range of effects on the city. For example, lower income families have a "major affordability" issue not because the city has really high rents or housing prices like San Francisco or Seattle but mostly because of persistently low incomes. 

The city also can’t shrug off a decades old problem of losing people to the suburbs. Each year, 7,000 more residents leave for the suburbs than the city gains, according to the report. That means since 2010, 63,000 more people departed Philadelphia for neighboring communities than moved into the city. Immigration and births have buoyed Philadelphia’s population in spite of that trend. 

While better schools have long been among what many thought was the main driver for migration out of Philadelphia, 81 percent of those who moved between 2010 and 2016 didn’t have children, according to CCD. The allure? Jobs and jobs without the city wage tax.

For more on the report, click here.

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