Is Philadelphia the Tortoise or the Hare?

Situated between two major cities – New York and Washitngton, DC, sometimes little old Philadelphia is overlooked by many as the thriving vavacious City that it truly has become.

We don’t attract the number of investors that some of our big city rivals such as Miami, Las Vegas, or some hot spots in California might. You won’t find our streets littered with movie stars, paparazzi or neon lights. Most folks here in Center City Philadelphia probably don’t have our own swimming pool or driveway either.

Poor, poor Philadelphia….

Oh, and soaring, monthly double digit appreciation in home values? No, we don’t get much of that either. This sorry backwoods of an urban area suffers from such neglect. Bummer, eh?

Uh, no. Not in the least. Very few Philadelphia real estate owners are upset with such dismal happenings here in town. Many of us are actually delighted to that fact.

You see, we have no need for your Brittany Spears, your tofu cafes, or your oxygen bars. We don’t portray much of a need for those effects. You see, we are your slow, stupid cousins. Those of us who buy a piece of Center City Philadelphia real estate, such as a Rittenhouse Square Condominium or Old City loft, see those investments appreciate at an awfully slow, five to fifteen percent per year, or so….that latter figure being an excellent year.

But you see, the difference is that Philadelphia real estate has sustained this kind of growth in value for almost twelve years in a row. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight when it comes to the slow and steady appreciation of Philadelphia real estate, according to publications in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News.

Philadelphia, forever the tortoise, has been able to keep the pace going and going. We don’t seem to have a gross oversupply of unsold inventory, our owner-occupancy ratios are very high (not a lot of out-of-town money bulking up the ownership ranks amongst the Philadelphia condo set), and the subprime debacle has played little into our appreciation forecasts.

Although some Philadelphia real estate novices are put off by the fact that you generally have to wait a few years to see some value growth on your new construction purchase, Old City lofts and Rittenhouse Square condominiums, for example, do eventually appreciate in value.

So, it boils down to the fact that Center City Philadelphia condominiums and other Center City real estate may not be as fast out of the starting gate as other cities, and we may always be the real estate stepchild to the home values of our peers, but it does appear that slow and steady wins the race.

And personally, as a REALTOR as well as a home owner here in town, I would like to thank all the Philadelphia real estate buyers and sellers who have made this win possible.