Telling the story of the current Main Line and Center City real estate market for Q3 2020 is not a simple task. At this particular time, we have a dramatic real-life example of how there are multiple “realities” depending on what numbers we view in which market segments.
Oversimplified reports can lead to bad decisions, especially during challenging times. No one wants to hear “it’s complicated” when dating – or when buying or selling real estate. However, that is the case in the Greater Philadelphia area for Q3 2020.
Now more than ever, it’s important to have detailed information for your particular situation as reported in my Newsletter.
In fact, what started out to be my normal market update turned into various reports covering luxury markets in Gladwyne, Villanova and Bryn Mawr on the Main Line, Rittenhouse Square and Mid-Town in Center City as well as the dramatic spike in pre-foreclosure distressed properties.
This is a unique point in time where each of these market segments has experienced various impacts from the national COVID pandemic, political uncertainties and protests and violence in Center City.
Q3 2020 Real Estate Market Report Summary
Philadelphia broke records in September for number of sales and median sales price primarily driven by a spike in activity after our COVID shut down during Q2.
While these results make an amazing story, it’s not clear that this is a sustainable trend. However, the steady demand and consumer confidence during challenging times speaks well for the stability of the Philadelphia real estate market.
Luxury results on the Main Line and in Center City
Luxury Market trends on the Main Line and in Center City are best viewed by year-over-year changes. Smaller number of sales at high values can skew statistical shifts month-over-month.
The biggest Q3 2020 shifts are reflected in Gladwyne luxury market with a decrease from an average of 10 months of inventory to 3 months, and a 26.59% increase in median sales price over the past 12 months.
Other Main Line luxury markets such as Villanova and Bryn Mawr remain in high demand with low inventory. However, the shift isn’t as dramatic because these areas were in high demand pre-COVID due to easy access to shopping, dining and regional rail commuting stations.
Conversely the Rittenhouse Square and Mid-Town luxury markets softened to approximately 16 months from an average of 9 months of inventory. Both of these luxury market segments are largely driven by luxury condo sales such as Two Liberty and The Residences at Ritz-Carlton located in MidTown Philly.
Does that mean that Center City luxury is dying? Not at all. Life on Rittenhouse Square is thriving.
Demand for mid-sized cities like Philadelphia within an easy commute to New York and Washington DC make Center City a prime destination for relocating buyers and commuting executives.
Gary Vee predicts we are going 100% into a mixed office environment with a standard for work from home with occasional office visits. This lasting trend will help support the recovery of Center City.