Coronavirus and housing prices in and around Philly
Here’s what to expect from the real estate market in the city and suburbs amid a rocky economy during the coronavirus crisis.
Despite a rocky economy, the real estate market will — mostly — stay strong.
One thing most experts agree on: The home has become a locus of activity. And that means people might seek out more space and something different from what they currently have, which will help keep house prices and sales volume high, explains Kevin Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Center for Urban Innovation. (Low interest rates will contribute, too.)
On the other hand, Ken Weinstein, president of Philly Office Retail, predicts that areas where housing is densely packed and tighter by nature (looking at you, city rowhomes and condos) could see a value drop of anywhere from 20 to 40 percent over the next year or two.
The suburban market will boom again.
People wanting more space for a COVID-adjusted lifestyle and some (literal) breathing room will head to the suburbs, which are already seeing a jump in housing prices. This is particularly true of towns that offer a little urban flair (walkable downtowns, train stations), like Ardmore, Doylestown, Jenkintown, Media and Wayne.
But it’s not just Philadelphians moving out: Gordon notes that housing prices in the Greater Philadelphia market are lower than in most other large metros, so people from beyond the region are also scoping suburban houses here. “These people can all work remotely, and they figure they can live here and work from home,” she says. Since this is the new M.O., why not get the most bang for your buck?
Some city neighborhoods will hold their own.
Weinstein has done very well betting on “middle neighborhoods” — city blocks where residents have household incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the metropolitan-area median. One example is Mount Airy, where prices remain reasonable and houses come with things like yards and extra rooms — both highly appealing post-COVID. In nearby Germantown, prices have risen sharply in the past year.
So, city-dweller: If you’re looking for that extra room, expect stiff competition in the months to come. But if you’re looking to cash out on your house in a hot neighborhood, you might want to stay put while prices are on pause.
Read the full article at Philadelphia magazine.