Feb 7, 2022 - Real Estate

Transplants coming to Philly seek affordability

A hand holding a key shaped like a dollar sign
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The top three metro areas that transplants are coming from are New York City, Washington, D.C., and Trenton, New Jersey, according to Realtor.com data.

  • Analysts looked at search traffic in the fourth quarter of 2021 to determine who from outside the metro is searching for a new home.

Driving the news: Philadelphia has a lot to offer with its robust restaurant scene, nightlife, walkability, arts and culture, but the affordability compared to other large metros is a driving force, local real estate agent Maria Quattrone said.

By the numbers: In December 2021, the median home in D.C. sold for $669,000, and in New York, it was $785,000, per Redfin.

  • Mercer County, which encompasses Trenton, had a median price of $320,000.

What they’re saying: Quattrone, who runs her own real estate agency, told Axios she noticed an uptick of clients from New York City who are accustomed to apartment living. She said the pandemic inspired many to go where they can access more space for less money, especially during the rise of remote work.

  • “Now they can live in Philadelphia in a townhouse and yard, which they would never be able to afford,” she said.

Carlos Masip, a real estate agent for Keller Williams Philly, said he’s also seen people from across the country.

  • “Over the last year or so, I represented many clients from San Francisco and Los Angeles because housing is so expensive on the West Coast,” he said.

Yes, but: Philadelphia’s housing inventory continues to drop, and it remains a seller’s market.

Of note: According to American Community Survey data from 2015-2019, most people doing the moving in Philly are still within the metro area.

What to watch: Both Quattrone and Masip told Axios they’re seeing more large-scale investors buying single-family homes rather than first-time home buyers.

Tip to go: Quattrone recommends both sellers and buyers to act now as interest rates begin to rise.

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