Homeownership In Philadelphia Tumbles, Report Says

The homeownership rate in Philadelphia declined sharply between 2000 and 2012, primarily as a consequence of the prolonged and sweeping real estate downturn that followed the bursting of the housing bubble in 2006-07, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Although Philadelphia’s homeownership rate remains high among the nation’s 30 largest cities, the 7.1 percentage-point drop in owner-occupied units – from 59.3 percent to 52.2 percent, or by 47,082 – was surpassed only by Phoenix, which suffered record foreclosures and price declines when the market swooned, the Pew study shows.

Stagnant incomes, rising home prices, and tight credit, all products of the recession, have cut into owner-occupied numbers, the study showed.

In addition, young professionals who once were the chief source of first-time buyers are either wary of homeownership or burdened by student-loan debt.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20140710_Homeownership_in_Philadelphia_tumbles__report_says.html#PLLsApVZLecmI3H2.99

Town By Town: Abington Homes Offer Good Value

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, P...

Map of Abington Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region’s communities.

If Abington can come up with more houses to sell next year, its reputation for affordability – combined with lower Federal Housing Administration mortgage limits – might result in a sales boom.

That’s the opinion of some real estate agents, including Cheryl Miller of Long & Foster’s Blue Bell office, who sells in this Montgomery County township known for its older houses, its hospitals, its 16 neighborhoods (or parts of neighborhoods), Willow Grove Park mall, and traffic that moves at a snail’s pace along Route 611.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20131229_Town_By_Town__Abington_homes_offer_good_value.html#lgiIt7UHFKYC4zXt.99

Housing Crisis: Rising Prices, Fewer Options, Long Waiting Lists Make Finding A Livable Space Difficult

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jessica Castro in September moved herself, her daughter and her son, ages 10 and 9, into a one-bedroom apartment, sacrificing elbowroom to save on rent.

“What I need is a three-bedroom,” said Castro, 36, but it wasn’t in her budget. Even two-bedroom units were beyond her means as she worked 40 hours a week plus a second part-time job.

She now frets over how long her kids will tolerate the tight squeeze.

Thousands of renters across Lancaster County can identify with Castro. They’re priced out of decent, right-sized housing and settle for cramped, substandard quarters.

Experts warn that the shortage of affordable units is at the point that working people will leave the county to find a place to live.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/917486_Housing-crisis–Rising-prices–fewer-options–long-waiting-lists-make-finding-a-livable-space-difficult.html#ixzz2l1Rw7Kn6

Philadelphia Council Committee Says Yes To A Land Bank

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After years of talking the talk about getting a land bank in Philadelphia, where blight scars entire neighborhoods, City Council started Monday to walk the walk.

On a 6-1 vote, Council’s Committee on Public Property and Public Works approved a resolution to establish a land bank. The bill still needs a vote of the full Council.

If it approves, Philadelphia would become the largest city with a land bank. Land banks streamline the process for rescuing blighted property, whether by homeowners who want to turn a vacant lot next door into a garden or developers who hope to buy clusters of houses to make way for a major project.

One expert said Philadelphia was better equipped than some cities with land banks, such as Flint, Mich.; Cleveland; and St. Louis.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/20131029_Phila__Council_committee_says_yes_to_a_land_bank.html#86b2DVYsKXDDfbXV.99

5 Cities Where The Housing Bust Won’t Let Go

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Allentown also made the list :(

No. 4 lagging market: Philadelphia
Score:
 82.7

Homebuyers aren’t showing the Philadelphia metro area much brotherly love, with the market trailing U.S. averages in almost every metric that RealtyTrac looked at.

Blomquist says Philadelphia housing is doing a particularly bad job of attracting institutional investors, defined in the study as any company or individual who buys 10 or more properties a year anywhere in America.

RealtyTrac found that such buyers account for just 3% of property deals in Philadelphia, compared with 9% nationwide. “Philadelphia is a market that institutional investors are just not very interested in.”

Philly has also seen a sub-par 32% decline in foreclosure filings, while median home prices have rebounded only a below-average 16% from their March 2012 bottom.

Read more: http://business-news.thestreet.com/philly/story/5-cities-where-the-housing-bust-wont-let-go-0/1

Town By Town: Houses Sell Like Hotcakes In Collegeville

Location of Collegeville in Montgomery County

Location of Collegeville in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There appear to be many more people who want to live in Collegeville Borough than can fit inside of its 1.6 square miles, so finding the perfect house right on the edge is just fine, too.

That’s the impression you get talking with Drew Bergman, who, with his fiancée, Colette Lapinski, settled May 26 on a house in Skippack Township near Evansburg State Park that has a Collegeville post office address.

Bergman, who is selling his house in Franconia Township, Montgomery County, and Lapinski, who is doing the same with her Collegeville place, had been not-yet-seriously looking for seven months or so online when the couple found what he calls “the perfect property.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/town-by-town/20130707_Town_By_Town__Houses_sell_like_hotcakes_in_Collegeville.html#eTILVLwkcKgV1Fqg.99

Pending Home Sales Surge In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pending sales of homes in Lancaster County soared 27.1 percent in October, a new report says.

Pending sales numbered 413 last month, up from 325 in October 2011, according to the Lancaster County Association of Realtors.

With the October figure, pending sales here have increased for 13 consecutive months.

The tally also marked the highest October pending sales since October 2006.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/787043_Pending-home-sales-surge-here.html#ixzz2DeXHILA8

In San Francisco, High-Rises By The Bay

The San Francisco Peninsula

The San Francisco Peninsula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ROUGHLY two decades ago, during an earlier Internet start-up boom, many entrepreneurs and fast-typing coders and engineers set up shop in a still-gritty area of this city:  South of Market Street.

The young tech crowd rented — and sometimes bought — in commercial buildings in this former warehouse area, converting them into “work-live” spaces where they operated their nascent companies and slept (once in awhile).

The boom-and-bust cycles in the tech sector move quickly, and the pace of constant reinvention and innovation is relentless.

The same is true of tastes in real estate.  Today a new generation of tech dreamers is back in the South of Market area.  But this time they are breathing life into a start-up wave not previously seen in San Francisco:  high-rise condo living.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/realestate/in-san-francisco-glass-and-steel-condos-rising-by-the-bay.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&hpw

The Most (And Least) Livable States

Editor’s note:  Another poll showing the top ten and bottom ten states.  Pennsylvania does not appear on either list but several states around us make one or the other.  Some surprises and some expected results.

A new poll suggests that today’s relatively affluent states are likely to still be among the best places to live in the future. But residents in those states often are less optimistic about the future than those in poorer states.

Check out the results here: http://money.msn.com/investing/the-most-and-least-livable-states

Pending Home Sales Up 28.9% In Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pending home sales grew by 28.9 percent here in April, the Lancaster County Association of Realtors said Friday.

Last month saw 495 pending sales here, up from 384 in April 2011, according to the Realtors group.

With the April surge, pending home sales in Lancaster County have climbed in 11 of the past 12 months, including the last seven in a row.

“We’re going in the right direction, and that’s exciting stuff,” said Quentin Miller, LCAR president. “I’m cautiously optimistic about the trend. This is the best we’ve seen in years.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/651268_Pending-home-sales-up-28-9–in-Lancaster-County.html#ixzz1vWZ0jWNT

Lehigh Valley Housing Market Continues To Rebound

The Lehigh Valley housing market continued to rebound in April, with sales and prices up from a year ago.

A total of 466 homes sold in April in Lehigh and Northampton counties, up 24.9 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the Prudential Patt, White Real Estate HomExpert Market Report. The median sale price was $170,000, up 6.3 percent from a year ago and up 8.4 percent from the median sale price in March.

April was the tenth consecutive month of year-to-year sales increases and it was the second straight month of price increases. If the sales pace and price trends holds, it will mean the local housing market bottomed out last year.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-home-sales-april-20120521,0,518533.story

24/7 Wall Street’s Best And Worst Run Cities List

Map of Virginia highlighting Virginia Beach City

Image via Wikipedia

Editor’s note: No city in Pennsylvania made either list.

According to 24/7 Wall Street the best run city in America is Virginia Beach, VA.  This city of 439,172 residents has a Aaa credit rating, a low crime rate, a low poverty rate and 93.1 percent of the adult population have graduated from high school.  These among other factors catapulted Virginia Beach to the top of the list.  Irvine, CA and Madison, WI rounded out the top three.

On the other end of the spectrum (definitely the list you DO NOT want to be on) is Miami, FL.  This city of 400,892 people has a high crime rate, a high poverty rate and a very low percentage of adults who graduated from high school (68.2 percent).  Other members of the wall of shame are Detriot, MI, Newark, NJ. and Cleveland, OH.

Census: Housing Bust Worst Since Great Depression

WASHINGTON—The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.

The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year. While that level remains the second highest decennial rate, analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents…

Read more: http://www.ydr.com/business/ci_19055810