There are so many numbers that tell the story of how Philadelphia is today, but there is one that stands out as a definite expression of confidence in the city’s future. Last year, the Philadelphia office of licenses and inspections received building plans for almost 3,000 units of new residential housing, which is the most approved in a decade. These units cost about $465 million, which is the highest amount on record.
These numbers show that many investors are betting that the population of Philadelphia will keep on growing and that many of the new residents will look for new homes and apartments. However, even with the new construction and the rising population, chronic problems of Philadelphia have not gone away. As with any big city, crime, drugs and corruption can be found in certain sections and it tends to be an uphill battle in some neighborhoods.
Despite all these challenges, investors are not stopped from investing their money in center city, northern liberties, the Navy Yard and certain areas of the greater northeast, building homes, apartments and condos for their growing number of clients. If you are someone who is looking to buy a home in this part of the country, you might want to get acquainted with the essential indicators of the Philadelphia housing market and key indicators like:
Population. According to estimates from the Census Bureau, the population of Philadelphia in 2013 rose for the seventh consecutive year to almost 1.55 million.
Employment. The job market in Philadelphia remains to be sluggish, although it is showing some signs of life in certain industries like hospitality, life sciences and the trades. In the previous year, there were about 3,800 more jobs in the city compared to the year before it. In 2008, the recession hit Philadelphia with full force like many big cities. Recovery is slower than anyone ever expected and there are many bright spots including an increase in startup businesses from entrepreneurs.
Crime. Last year, Philadelphia recorded almost 250 homicides, which is down 25% from the previous year. This is the lowest number since 1968. As a whole, major crime enjoys a relatively steady and gradual decline.
K-12 Enrollment. Enrollment in schools run by the School District of Philadelphia fell almost 6%, the largest percentage drop in many years. Also, the student population in publicly funded charter schools continued to rise, and enrollment in schools run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia grew slightly, following years of gradual and steady decline.
These indicators have have not stopped people from buying homes and lofts for sale in Philadelphia. If you still have concerns about investing here, considering consulting with Philadelphia real estate experts to get their take on the neighborhoods that interests you most. Many of these agencies have a powerful real estate search engine for Philadelphia that can speed your due diligence.