The increase of demand and pricing for suburban homes has been a consistent story since COVID hit the housing market early 2020. Conversely, we saw mass exodus from condos in urban centers like Rittenhouse Square in Philly. However, tides are turning!
If you follow me, you know my stories often include the ocean. I’ve been sharing about changes in the currents of our micro-markets that aren’t reported in mainstream real estate news for several months.
October statistics show a dramatic shift that confirms the trends I’ve been reporting;
- Philly Luxury Condo Market Update
- Philadelphia Real Estate News | The Untold Stories
- MidTown Philly Luxury Condo Update
Suburban Q3 Trends on Philly’s Main Line
Bryn Mawr Pricing Trends
Bryn Mawr, the heart of the Main Line, can be viewed as the center of Main Line pricing trends and buyer demand. Other Main Line communities like Villanova and Gladwyne have so few homes available, statistics are a limited insight into local market trends.
As of this publication, you can see the dramatic downturn in both Average Price and Median Price for closed sales since June 2021; results of Spring’s market spike.
Gladwyne Pricing Trends
What I fondly call Philadelphia’s Billionaires Village, Gladwyne is a signature luxury estate home destination. Last year we saw a huge uptick in luxury estate home sales, with cash buyers paying $3-6M for homes that previously sat on the market for over a year. October sales results show a steep decline in both Average Price and Median Price. With only 1,358 properties in Gladwyne non-corporate owned, we must keep in mind a few sales will dramatically change statistics.
Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philly
While Rittenhouse Square saw the greatest number of residents leave the city during 2020’s urban disturbances, that statistic didn’t tell the whole story. A large majority of Rittenhouse Square condo owners have other properties and they simply went to their New Jersey shore or Florida homes to escape the COVID shut downs during 2020. Those owners have returned and Rittenhouse Square’s vibrant, cosmopolitan community lifestyle is alive and well.
In addition to residents returning, there’s an uptick in buyer demand from other areas of the country. Many buyers I’ve been working with have ties to Philly and are looking for a pied-a-terra or second home. Others are working in and out of New York City and want to enjoy the friendlier small-town, yet cosmopolitan lifestyle. With attractive values and easy access to Amtrak, Rittenhouse Square truly fits as the “Sixth Borough” for New Yorkers.
Supply and Demand
While there are many metrics to observe, including condos vs. single family homes, the biggest change in Rittenhouse Square can be seen clearly looking at Supply and Demand. At the end of 2020 the overall market had about 12 months of inventory. The Rittenhouse condo micro-market was running closer to 18 months. Clearly our Q3 numbers for October reflect a shift the shift to a seller’s market that began in July. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market.
Only a few blocks from Rittenhouse Square, MidTown Philly’s condo market tells a very different story. Surrounded by vacant offices and empty retail storefronts, the neighborhood hasn’t revitalized in the same way. However, even with these challenges there’s been a significant shift from 15 months of inventory in April to 7.63 months in October. Now may be the best time to buy in MidTown Philly.