Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Home prospects

Anybody with eyes has seen the flurry of new construction and condo conversions in Philadelphia in recent years, especially current action in Center City. Apparently it really is record-setting:
Since 1998, however, more than 12,000 residential units - houses, apartments or condos - have been added to Center City alone, according to estimates from the Central Philadelphia Development Corp. Based on projects under way or announced, 3,900 more may be completed by 2008, 1,465 of them this year. CPDC says projects with more than 2,149 additional units are proposed but have no set completion date.
The average starting price for condos is quite steep (around $350k right now), but they're among the hottest properties just now, apparently because of demand from two ends of the life cycle:
"It used to be when you turned 60 you retired and moved to Florida. Now people are working until their 70s or even 80s. They don't retire, but they do want to move down. Get rid of the big house and all the maintenance. Those people want condos."

Similarly, young couples and singles - especially women seeking security - are choosing condos as their first entry into the real estate market.
Interest rates are staying low, which will continue to lure new buyers, but if the bubble doesn't calm a bit soon, they'll never be able to trade up!


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