CITYWIDE HOUSE PRICE INDEX DOWN THIS QUARTER, DESPITE CONTINUED GROWTH IN SOME SUBMARKETS.
The citywide housing index value for single family homes was down 2 percent in this quarter, echoing a familiar pattern from each of the past 5 years. The long run trend, however, remains positive with values up approximately 1 percent year over year. This quarter’s dip comes despite strong growth in some markets, particularly in and around Center City and in the northwest section of Philadelphia. Sales volume overall was up, with 3,615 sales across all segments of the market. South Philadelphia and the River Wards experienced the highest volume of sales, at 588 and 314 transactions, respectively. Median prices were highest in Center City ($301 per square foot and $400,000 total) and lowest in West/Southwest ($25 per square foot and $31,000 total). Citywide, the median price was $96 per square foot and $123,000 total.
Quality-adjusted prices of single-family homes in Philadelphia were down slightly this quarter, but still above where were they were this time last year. The dip comports with expectations, as this is the fifth consecutive year quarter 3 has shown a decrease. The long run trend in Philadelphia, however, is positive.
The citywide index trends positively on a slow and steady course, however the growth is not uniform across the entire city. The index values by subregion show that the South and Lower North/River areas have been and continue to be leading performers, up this quarter by 2.8 and 5.2 percent, respectively. The index value for Center City/University also continues to climb, up 1.2 percent this quarter. Quality-adjusted house prices saw modest growth or decline in all other areas of the city, ranging from down 1.3 percent in the North to up 1.6 percent in the Northwest.
The distribution of sales this quarter follows a familiar pattern, with highest value sales (on a per square foot basis) heavily clustered in Center City and the surrounding areas. Moving outward from the center, the pattern is of steep drop in price per square foot, generally climbing toward the Northeast and Northwest.