by Jay Goldstein

  • Greater Center City (Girard Avenue to Tasker; river to river) and its four adjacent ZIP codes (19130, 19123, 19146, 19147) represent 16.2% of the City’s geography but accounted for 75% of the 5,853 new residential units completed in 2022. Greater Center City alone is 5.8% of the City’s land area and accounted for 48% of new housing units last year. Center City is on a roll. In our last e-newsletter we talked about the positive aspects of a city where many residents live where they work. Five thousand additional residential units were under construction at the start of 2023 in Greater Center City.
  • People need housing. The population in the core of Center City increased 54% from 2000 to 2020.  Within extended Center City, the population increased 32% during this same time period.
  • Of the 110,500 housing units in Greater Center City in 2021, 41% were owner-occupied with a higher proportion of homeownership in extended Center City than in Center City proper.
  • At the closing of 2022, there were 13,544 units with active permits in Greater Center City, 48% of the City total. About 5,000 of these are under construction.
  • In the rental market, CoStar, which tracks larger and newer multi-family buildings, the average asking rents for Greater Center City apartments declined 4.3% in 2020, before increasing 8.4% in 2021 and 1.0% in 2022. The number of occupied units declined by 902 in 2020 but swelled to an unprecedented 3,700 in 2022. This occurred even as rents were increasing indicating a sustained demand.
  • Interestingly, Philadelphia has been a national leader for 25 years in converting vacant office and industrial buildings to residential use.