Philadelphia’s Housing Market Continues to Fluctuate as Inventory Hits All-Time Low


    Philadelphia’s housing market has been fluctuating as of late, with certain communities continuing to struggle as other areas flourish.

    According to Curbed Philadelphia, Philadelphia’s 2017 real estate market has been marked by a record-low inventory. Currently, there are just 3,883 houses on the market in Philadelphia.

    “This is the first time that this number has fallen below 4,000 in the history of this data going back to 2001,” said Kevin Gillen, senior researcher at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation. “Combining such low supply with the current rapid pace of sales, it would take only 3.1 months to burn off the existing inventory of homes for sale.”

    However, while low inventory has led to higher prices in cities around the country, home prices fluctuate wildly across the Philadelphia region. The overall price range for properties located across 17 Philly neighborhoods is $71 per square foot to $1,680 per square foot.

    “The average price is a good starting point, but the price range can offer more insight,” added Constantine Valhouli, director of research at real estate research site NeighborhoodX.

    The most affordable houses came in the following Philly neighborhoods:

    • Kensington at $71 per square foot
    • Grays Ferry at $107 per square foot
    • Manayunk at $115 per square foot
    • Point Breeze at $118 per square foot
    • and Fishtown at $164 per square foot

    The U.S. homeownership rate was 63.4% in 2015, down from 64.7% a year prior. As of 2015, it was the lowest homeownership rate since 1967 in the United States. Philly homeowners who sold their properties in 2016 held onto them for seven years and nine months before putting them back up for sale. In addition, the median sale price in 2016 was $120,000 for a home.

    Some Philly homes, however, are being sold for much more after being completely remodeled.

    One four-bedroom Fairmount home was built in the early 20th century and is now on the market for $629,900.

    Shelly Stangl purchased the home in 2010 and immediately began working on projects to renovate the home. In 2015, the top two most common home remodeling jobs were bathroom remodeling, included in 81% of projects, and kitchen remodeling, in 79%.

    “I did a lot of renovations, as well as home maintenance updates,” Stangl added. “I completely updated the kitchen with upscale granite countertops, backsplash and flooring.”

    Stangl also had a full breakfast bar built in her kitchen, along with a completely new room on the first floor.

    Though home remodeling projects are a great way to improve the resale value of a property, not every Philadelphia resident has the time, skills, or money to perform these costly projects.

    The homeowners who were able to sell their homes in 2016, however, managed to gain an additional $39,900 compared to what they initially paid for it.