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Q3 2021 Philadelphia Metro Market Stats

Here are some stats for Delaware County and the Cobbs Creek neighborhood in West Philadelphia for Q3 2021. For multifamily properties, the stats are for Q3 YTD 2021.

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Real Estate Market Update-West Philadelphia November 2020 YTD

In this video, I will take you through some of the key housing market stats for November YTD for West Philadelphia, including Cobbs Creek, Cedar Park, and University City. The stats come from Bright MLS and represent only the transactions conducted on market vs. off the MLS.

Just how hot has the market been in West Philly as we wrapped up 2020. We will dive into stats on pricing trends and sales activity.

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Philadelphia Real Estate Market Update March 2020 (Covid 19 Impact)

Has the global pandemic shut down the real estate market in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs? Stay tuned for real estate market data in the midst of the stay-at-home order. In this video, Veronica Woods of Daniel Woods Real Estate shares statistics on real estate sales in Delaware County and Philadelphia in March 2020.

This market update uses data from Bright MLS.

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Delaware County PA (Suburban Philadelphia) Real Estate Market Update Q4 2019

Do you want to know where the buyers and sellers are winning in the suburban Delaware County, PA real estate market? In this video, Veronica Woods of Daniel Woods Real Estate shares statistics on where homes are selling for the best value and the most price appreciation across the towns in the western suburbs outside of Philadelphia for Q4 2019.

This Delco Market Update uses data from Q4 2019 from Bright MLS.

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Delaware County PA Real Estate Market Update Q3 2019

Do you want to know the trends in suburban Delaware County, PA real estate that could affect you as a buyer or seller? In this video, Veronica Woods of Daniel Woods Real Estate shares statistics on where homes are selling for the best value and the most price appreciation across the towns in the western suburbs outside of Philadelphia.

This Delco Market Update uses data from Q3 2019 from Bright MLS.

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Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Zoning When Investing in Real Estate

Wealth. Legacy. Lifestyle.

 

Action Inspiration

Don’t be afraid to take a big step. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. David Lloyd George, former British Prime Minister

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Zoning When Investing in Real Estate

Zoning is not the sexiest real estate topic. However, ignorance in this area can cost you money with both buying and selling investment real estate.

1) Understand the area’s current zoning

Before you buy a property, you want to be clear on what you can do by right or by permission. Often, you cannot rely on information from the current owner. It is best to verify this information on the city’s website or a zoning official.

Building requirements for vacant lots may vary for setbacks and the minimum width to build any structure at all. For instance, the value of a narrow lot is diminished if it is too small to build a house by zoning standards.

It is also good to know what is “in favor” at the zoning board. Parking and recovery homes bring much discussion across Delaware County and Philadelphia.

2) Stay Alert to Planned Zoning Changes

Zoning ordinances evolve to meet the strategic plan for the neighborhoods. Sometimes, this vision of the elected officials may be ahead of the current economics. If the local municipality has prohibited the highest use of your property since you bought the property, it may create a challenge when you try to sell.

In this case, the city may require you to apply for a variance to continue an approved use that has been active for decades. The variance process costs both time and money (the fees to review your application vary by municipality).

For sellers, an appeal may be worth it. Without it, a seller may be forced to hold onto a property longer than desirable. Potential quality buyers may opt to walk away rather than battle the zoning board. Often, it may be easier for the seller to go through the appeal process to plead the case for economic hardship to sidestep the existing code.

3) Document known non-conforming use

If your property does not comply with the known ordinances, register your use with your local municipality. There is no excuse to be unsure (again see #1).

For example, you have treated your property as a two-family rental, but the current zoning calls for only single-family homes. If you can show consistency in this use with no negative impact on your neighbors, you can make a good case for a variance approval. This action will allow you to market a legally approved use.

September Key Market Statistics

(Statistics shown are for rolling 12 months ending in September)

(19143) West Philadelphia-Cobbs Creek/Cedar Park

 Sept 17 Sept 18% CHG
Total Sales5055529%
Lowest Sales $7K$14K100%
Highest Sales $950K $800K-16%
Average Sales $137K$157K15%
Days On Market 5436-33%

(19104) West Philadelphia-University City/Mantua

 Sept 17Sept 18 % Chg
Total Sales 1831904%
Lowest Sales $13K$18K39%
Highest Sales $1,325K$1,250K -6%
Average Sales $250K$259K4%
Days On Market 4840-17%

(19139) West Philadelphia-Walnut Hill/Haddington/Mill Creek

 Sept 17 Sept 18% Chg
Total Sales 26232123%
Lowest Sales $5K$8K50%
Highest Sales $607K$635K5%
Average Sales $89K
$110K22%
Days On Market 5240-23%

Upper Darby

 Sept 17 Sept 18% Chg
Total Sales 1,1431,2015%
Lowest Sales $17K$20K18%
Highest Sales   $435K$435K0%
Average Sales $129K$139K8%
Days On Market 67681%

Chester

 Sept 17 Sept 18% Chg
Total Sales 21023110%
Lowest Sales $5K $5K0%
Highest Sales   $165K$255K55%
Average Sales $53K$58K10%
Days On Market 57 6720%
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Getting the Right ARV for Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods

Hipster staging in West Philly rehab
Hipster staging in West Philly rehab

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Action Inspiration

Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. Warren Buffett

Getting the Right ARV for Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods

Many are chasing flip and profit dreams in areas that are more “coming” than “up.” While it is true that you make your money on the buy, you also lose money by miscalculating the After Repair Value (ARV) that a new homeowner would be willing and able to pay.

Here are some common mistakes…

  1. Expecting the market to reward you for over-improvements. As your rehab budget stretches, you may want the ARV to expand at the same rate. The reality is that the forces outside of the property can be just as significant on the value as your rehab work. Poorly maintained homes on the same block will have a negative impact on the valuation of your property. Striving to have the best house on the block is risky. Ration your choices on materials and finishes by the neighborhood.
  2. Choosing bad comps. The better you understand your target neighborhood, the more you will get the block by block nuances. Misunderstanding a block could cost you $50-100k in some areas. If the number of settled transactions have been slim over the last six months, you should look at the pending, expired, and withdrawn MLS listings to give you an idea of how prospective homeowners value the area. Don’t base your profit on overly rosy comps. Note: this applies to rentals as well. Don’t gloss over the condition of the homes on the same block and the size of the rental units. For instance, you should not base your projected revenue on a proposed three bedroom house rental on the expected rent for a two-bedroom apartment. Both types of rentals target different households.
  3. Being off in your “hipster” forecast. “Follow the hipsters” has been safe money for investors for years. When I see a lot of overtly hipster furniture staging, like in the photo for this post, the target audience is clear. But will the vintage table alone make them buy if the block screams “not yet” on the exterior? The more established the hipster community, including new coffee shops and restaurants, the more premium you can comfortably expect. Err on the side of conservatism on the timeline for true neighborhood transformation, even if that means holding as a rental for a period.

July Key Market Statistics

(Statistics shown are for rolling 12 months ending in July)

(19143) West Philadelphia-Cobbs Creek/Cedar Park

 July 17 July 18% CHG
Total Sales44453220%
Lowest Sales $11K$14K24%
Highest Sales $1,545K $800K-48%
Average Sales $141K$154K9%
Days On Market 4637-20%

(19104) West Philadelphia-University City/Mantua

 July 17July 18 % Chg
Total Sales 15518117%
Lowest Sales $13K$14K8%
Highest Sales $2,400K$1,250K -48%
Average Sales $255K$253K-1%
Days On Market 4538-16%

(19139) West Philadelphia-Walnut Hill/Haddington/Mill Creek

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 23227318%
Lowest Sales $5K$8K50%
Highest Sales $607K$585K-4%
Average Sales $89K
$109K22%
Days On Market 6041 -32%

Upper Darby

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 1,0381,0925%
Lowest Sales $14K$21K50%
Highest Sales   $415K$435K5%
Average Sales $127K$139K9%
Days On Market 7156-21%

Chester

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 2002105%
Lowest Sales $5K $5K0%
Highest Sales   $165K$255K55%
Average Sales $53K$57K7%
Days On Market 57 56-2%
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Real Estate Wisdom Update-6-27-18

Wealth. Legacy. Lifestyle.

 

Action Inspiration

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately Unknown

Landlording in a Renter-Friendly State

If you were curious about where Pennsylvania ranks on the spectrum from renter-friendly to landlord- friendly, the data shows that the state skews more in favor of the tenants. According to a RentCafé study, New Jersey (#17) and Pennsylvania (#18) rank neck and neck.

Our neighbors in Maryland (#32) and New York (#39) ranked as more landlord-friendly. The landlord is most king-like in Arkansas (#51) where tenants face criminal charges for not complying with vacate notice. See full rankings here.

With the pending “good cause” eviction legislation before Philadelphia’s City Council, some are questioning whether PA may be leaning more towards tenants. The proposed regulation is supposed to combat tenants getting displaced by overzealous developers.

The bill would limit “good cause” for eviction to the following reasons (note-this is not a complete list):

  • The tenant isn’t complying with a specific part of the lease
  • The tenant isn’t paying rent
  • The tenant has caused damage to the property
  • The landlord or their relative is moving into the unit

In 2016, Philadelphia ranked #4 among large cities in the number of evictions (10,264) per year according to the Eviction Lab at Princeton. The #1 spot for evictions in a medium-sized city within PA went to Reading (1,143), with Delaware County cities Chester (#12 rank, 125) and Drexel Hill (#20 rank, 35) falling within the top 20.

For buy and hold investors, the time to shore up your property management processes is now. It is only going to get more complex. You may need more systems in place to manage move-ins and move-outs. If you own properties in multiple counties, it also means keeping track of the regulations for each town. You will need to manage your portfolio more like a business to maintain returns.

May Key Market Statistics

(Statistics shown are for rolling 12 months ending in May)

(19143) West Philadelphia-Cobbs Creek/Cedar Park

 July 17 July 18% CHG
Total Sales44453220%
Lowest Sales $11K$14K24%
Highest Sales $1,545K $800K-48%
Average Sales $141K$154K9%
Days On Market 4637-20%

(19104) West Philadelphia-University City/Mantua

 July 17July 18 % Chg
Total Sales 15518117%
Lowest Sales $13K$14K8%
Highest Sales $2,400K$1,250K -48%
Average Sales $255K$253K-1%
Days On Market 4538-16%

(19139) West Philadelphia-Walnut Hill/Haddington/Mill Creek

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 23227318%
Lowest Sales $5K$8K50%
Highest Sales $607K$585K-4%
Average Sales $89K
$109K22%
Days On Market 6041 -32%

Upper Darby

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 1,0381,0925%
Lowest Sales $14K$21K50%
Highest Sales   $415K$435K5%
Average Sales $127K$139K9%
Days On Market 7156-21%

Chester

 July 17 July 18% Chg
Total Sales 2002105%
Lowest Sales $5K $5K0%
Highest Sales   $165K$255K55%
Average Sales $53K$57K7%
Days On Market 57 56-2%
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Real Estate Wisdom Update-3-15-18

Wealth. Legacy. Lifestyle.

 

Action Inspiration

F-E-A-R has two meanings. ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours Zig Ziglar

Here are my latest 5 Points of Interest about the Philadelphia metro area and the February market statistics.

5 Points of Interest

1) Philadelphia metro area continued to rank high for fix & flip deals in 2017.

The latest Attom data report shows that Philadelphia metro flippers earned the fourth highest return in the nation in 2017 behind Scranton, Pittsburgh and Baton Rouge. The lower inventory of distressed houses and competition has affected returns but has not stopped the deal flow for savvy investors in the area.

With roughly 40% of homes in the Philadelphia area built prior than 1940 (according to NeighborhoodScout.com), it creates more opportunities to complete the value-add projects that generate the most profit. Increasingly flippers are selling with a tenant in place (as a rental property) vs. the traditional flipping a vacant property to a new buyer.

2)Most buyers still need financing.

Overall, 80% of homebuyers in the third quarter of 2017 purchased their property using some form of financing, with 47% getting a 30-year mortgage, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.

The likelihood of the financing choice does vary by age. For buyers under 50, 49% seek a 30-year mortgage while those over the age 50 prefer cash (33%). If the target profile of your likely home buyer is a first-time home buyer, it is even more likely that they will need a mortgage. More flippers sought to finance in 2017 (34.8%) with the overall loan volume increasing to a 10-year high.

As a seller, you need to think about how the lender’s appraiser will view your home. A “no repairs” stance may increase the time it takes to sell your home.

3)Gain more equity by investing in starter homes.

It may be tempting to focus on the luxury market with your rehab but starter homes are gaining equity faster in many markets, according to a recent Zillow report. This opens up opportunities for more modest rehabs and highlights the continued shortage of inventory for 1st time home buyers.

The most affordable segment of the market (avg price of $117,800) showed a 5.2% appreciation over the last year and 16.7% increase over the last five years while the high-end segment (avg price of $338,900) showed only a 3.0% appreciation over the last year and 16.1% increase over the last year.

Metro Areas Bottom Tier Avg Px 1-Year Chg Bottom Tier 5-Year Chg
Bottom Tier
Top Tier Avg Px 1-Year Chg Top Tier 5-Year Chg Top Tier
Philadelphia $117,800 5.2% 16.7% $388,900 3.0% 16.1%
Baltimore $138,700 3.8% 13.9% $452,100 -0.3% 10.8%
Washington DC $238,700 3.1% 34.1% $666,600 -0.1% 13.9%
New York $260,200 8.5% 24.1% $790,600 5.7% 29.2%

4) New institutional investors are starting to buy cheaper single-family homes.

Once overlooked by the larger players, new start-up private equity firms have made notable investments in cities like Philadelphia targeting the affordable rental market of $800-$1,200, according to Bloomberg.

The outlook for more activity looks promising as Freddie Mac financed a portfolio of 200 single-family affordable rentals in the MidWest and South this January —in a first-of-its-kind loan. Of course, you need systems and a team of real estate professionals to replicate what the big boys are doing.

5)Are you renting to a hoarder?

As an owner, ignoring a tenant that shows signs of hoarding creates serious health and safety issues, including fire hazards, pest infestations, and even structural problems. Don’t wait until you are ready to sell to address the problem directly.

Since hoarding is now considered as a mental disability, you must manage the situation with care and attention to the Fair Housing laws. Consider having a hoarding policy upfront that addresses managing excessive clutter and storage privileges. If you suspect that your tenant is a hoarder, develop an individualized remedy plan that gives “reasonable accommodation.” An attorney can help. The plan can require clean-up over the course of months with immediate removal of any fire or safety hazards. If you think the tenant may need more support, you can provide a list of local agencies such as an area agency on aging, Hoarding Cleanup.com or the Philadelphia Task Force on Hoarding.

May Key Market Statistics

(Statistics shown are for rolling 12 months ending in July)

(19143) West Philadelphia-Cobbs Creek/Cedar Park

 May 17May 18% CHG
Total Sales39048925%
Lowest Sales$11K
$14K24%
Highest Sales$840K
$949K 13%
Average Sales$140K
$147K5%
Days On Market4638-17%

(19104) West Philadelphia-University City/Mantua

 May 17May 18% CHG
Total Sales136174
28%
Lowest Sales$13K$14K8%
Highest Sales$1,325K$1,250K-6%
Average Sales$250K $252K1%
Days On Market4838-21%

(19139) West Philadelphia-Walnut Hill/Haddington/Mill Creek

 May 17May 18% CHG
Total Sales205
26429%
Lowest Sales$5K$5K0%
Highest Sales$607K$585K-4%
Average Sales$87K$103K18%
Days On Market6241-34%

Upper Darby

 May 17May 18% CHG
Total Sales930
1,012
9%
Lowest Sales$14K$21K50%
Highest Sales$415K$435K5%
Average Sales$125K
$136K 8%
Days On Market7557-24%

Chester

 May 17May 18% CHG
Total Sales168

19315%
Lowest Sales$5k$5k0%
Highest Sales$165k$255k55%
Average Sales$51k $55k8%
Days On Market5857 -2%
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Real Estate Wisdom Update-12-21-17

Wealth. Legacy. Lifestyle.

Whether you are a reluctant landlord or emerging investor, this newsletter is for you. You can count on the Real Estate Wisdom newsletter to provide the inside scoop from talking to buyers & sellers, studying the market trends, and following what is going on at local city halls. 

If you think this info is useful, remember to share.

Action Inspiration

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. Leonardo da Vinci

Here are my latest 5 Points of Interest about the Philadelphia metro area and final November market statistics.

5 Points of Interest

1)The Philadelphia metro area needs more permanent housing solutions for veterans and their families.

The region’s handful of affordable housing earmarked for veterans, such as Buchman Meadows in Chester and the newly opened Spring Garden School project in Philadelphia, do not address the shortage.

On a smaller scale, owners can participate in the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supporting Housing program (HUD-VASH) that combines the traditional rent voucher with case management and clinical services provided by the VA.  Like the regular HUD voucher program, your property must pass an inspection. Once your unit is deemed eligible, you can promote your property to potential tenants through the VA and other affordable housing tenant networks.

Note, both the Delaware County Housing Authority and the Philadelphia Housing Authority administer this program, click here for the Veterans program Landlord fact sheet.

2)We are positive about Buy and Hold opportunities in 2018.

The demand for safe, affordable rentals is strong for working-class residents in the metro area for units at the $800-$1,200 price points. Within the older housing stock, there are great single-family and small multi-family rentals. Finding good tenants at that price point is just a matter of screening takers.

You don’t necessarily need to add high-end amenities to satisfy this group. Most importantly, the math may not work for you.  Many of the new construction units on the market go for more than the average Philly area renter to afford (or an average November rent for a 2 Bedroom Philadelphia apartment of $1,745, according to Rent Jungle).

The bottom line is that there is still money to be made serving the working-class market.

3)West Philadelphia is hot.

The recent multi-billion investment in University City (i.e., Schuylkill Yards near 30th Street Station, U-City Square near 36th & Market, and the 40th Street Trolley Portal project near Baltimore Avenue) will continue to drive home values up further and further west.

Take a look at the trend in sold prices between 2013 and 2017 YTD (source Trend MLS). We compared the low and high sales price from 46th Street through 56th Street between Chestnut and Spruce Streets.

Low High Average
2013 $20,500 $278,125 $142,908
2017 $58,005 $370,000 $198,784

4)We are keeping an eye on regulatory changes for short-term rentals (Airbnb).

Safety concerns, security, and lost tax revenue have been other reasons cities have been tempted to impose more boundaries around short-term rentals. Even though the last changes in the Philadelphia code was in 2015, it is important to track pending changes in other cities.

Recently, Seattle passed an ordinance that restricted the number of homes owners can operate as short-term rentals to two: their primary residence and one other. Seattle justified this change to protect the supply of affordable housing units for families who want to make the city their permanent home.

The Airbnb business model may remain an attractive revenue stream in the Philadelphia metro area in the short term until municipalities pass new restrictions.

5)You may be paying too much in property taxes in Delaware County.

In some of the suburban communities, the owners are not only underwater with their mortgage, but they are also over-assessed in taxes. Some owners feel the pain worse than others.

In Delaware County, about one-third of owners are over-assessed, with the highest rates in Darby (taxes based on 216% of market value), Marcus Hook (tax taxes based on 203%), and Upland (taxes based on 226% of market value), according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Earlier in the year, the Delaware County courts voted to complete a reassessment across the entire county by 2021, the first since 2000. To make your case, you need to get an appraisal to prove your current market value.

November Key Market Statistics

(Statistics shown are for rolling 12 months)

(19143) West Philadelphia-Cobbs Creek/Cedar Park

 NOV 16NOV 17% CHG
Total Sales4204200%
Lowest Sales$10K$11K13%
Highest Sales$1,545K$949K -39%
Average Sales$141K$137K-3%
Days On Market354220%

(19104) West Philadelphia-University City/Mantua

 NOV 16NOV 17% CHG
Total Sales14016719%
Lowest Sales$13K$14K8%
Highest Sales$2,400K$1,250K-48%
Average Sales$268K$239K-11%
Days On Market5038-24%

(19139) West Philadelphia-Walnut Hill/Haddington/Mill Creek

 NOV 16NOV 17% CHG
Total Sales19325231%
Lowest Sales$7K$5K-29%
Highest Sales$775K$607K-22%
Average Sales$82K$91K11%
Days On Market6349-22%

Upper Darby

 NOV 16NOV 17% CHG
Total Sales913100610%
Lowest Sales$14K$17K21%
Highest Sales$425K$435K 2%
Average Sales$122K$130K7%
Days On Market8261-26%

Chester

 NOV 16NOV 17% CHG
Total Sales11917043%
Lowest Sales$6K$5K-9%
Highest Sales$165K$255K55%
Average Sales$45K$52K14%
Days On Market7455-26%