This month’s PHI update could have a nearly identical headline as this time last year –the index remains relatively flat, though at an all-time high. That remains true for the city overall, with a very slight increase from May to June and a 9 percent year-over-year increase since June 2017. Looking more closely at a neighborhood level, you’ll see some notable trends. Specifically, that the neighborhoods with the highest housing indices (both sides of Center City, Fairmount, and Schuylkill) are all seeing a leveling off or slight decrease in their index value. Similarly, neighborhoods that are regular topics of this blog’s discussion because of their significant index growth, Point Breeze and Fishtown, have shown a cool down in recent months.
Despite the flattening or slightly declining index in these Center City and adjacent neighborhoods, the consistently rising PHI indicates growth in other neighborhoods. We’ve noticed two particular examples—Pennsport and Cedar Park. These neighborhoods have seen their index grow 7.6 and 12.4 percent year-over-year, respectively.
Pennsport, a neighborhood straddling the Delaware in South Philadelphia, is predominantly characterized by its supply of older industrial buildings. Recently, many of these old factory buildings have undergone or are currently undergoing the transformation into upscale apartments and condos. For example, the Southwark on Reed Townhomes replaced the Mount Sinai Hospital, which has been vacant since 1997. This project adds 95 new units to the neighborhood. Other projects in the area include Reed Estates (26 units) and the proposed redevelopment of the Freda Meat Factory (48-units) on Front Street. Unlike Pennsport, Cedar Park is not seeing many new developments. Its rise in the Index might be from people moving out of the outer neighborhoods of University City for more affordable housing, causing the supply of housing to diminish, and thereby driving housing prices.
Meanwhile in Fishtown, we don’t anticipate that the PHI will remain flat for long. Projects such as the the Views at Penn Treaty Park, 19-unit luxury townhome, are expected to sell for over $1 million. Stay tuned for our next PHI blog post where we explore this and other major under construction residential projects across the city.
Gina Lavery is an Associate Director at Econsult Solutions. Gina focuses and leads projects on market research and analysis for the Greater Philadelphia area. Ms. Lavery manages ESI’s Philadlephia Housing Index. Gina received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and European History from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her Masters in City and Regional Planning from Penn’s School of Design.
Jing Liu is a Senior Analyst at Econsult Solutions. She specializes in spatial analysis, quantitative analysis, and data visualization. Prior to joining ESI in 2016, Jing received her Master’s in City Planning and Urban Spatial Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas Guccione is an Analyst at ESI where he assists in data analysis and research for economic impact projects and market studies. Thomas received his Bachelor of Science in Economics, with a minor in Political Science at Drexel University in 2018.