Center City housing growth returns to pre-Recession heights

Anyone walking around neigborhoods such as Northern Liberties or South Philadelphia can attest to the fact that greater Center City is experiencing a housing construction boom.

The Center City District has completed its annual housing study and says it found enough demand to absorb the mainly multi-family apartments coming onto the market. 

In 2013, more than 2,000 residential units were topped off in the region bounded by the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, south of Girard Avenue and north of Tasker Street. The bulk of those units, 1,703 were apartments, with another 98 condos and 290 single family homes.

“We’ve got very strong growth in population that’s supporting a lot of the demand. I think the restraints are the ones we all know,” said Center City District President Paul Levy. “To the extent that there remains a school funding crisis and people are uncertain about schools in every neighborhood, that’s going to limit people’s willingness to stay or buy homes within the city.”

The housing market is also closely-tied to the job market.

“More than 40 percent of the people who live in Center City work in Center City,” noted Levy, “so job growth is what is driving this interest in living downtown.”

He thinks the indicator to watch in the coming months will be the pricing for existing housing stock, which could fall if too many new units flood the market.

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