Philly multi-unit data analysis, 76ers trade analysis, our new and current listings, and Philly happenings. If you’d like to discuss real estate or anything in this newsletter please send me an email: [email protected]. This edition of Around the Block was originally published on Friday, 2/11/22.
Relevant Commentary, all information Philly (real estate and otherwise), Open Houses, Listings, Happenings, and More — by Jeff “City” Block
Philly Multi-Unit Data (and 76ers Trade) Analysis
Ok. Today is the final part of my four-part series on the Philly real estate 2020 and 2021 market data. I discussed the general market data (1/14), the single family market (1/28), and the condo market (2/4). Today, the final piece is the multi-family market.
Before we dig into the real estate data, a few thoughts on the huge Sixers trade. One of the biggest Philly sports trades this century. First, I have always loved the Philadelphia 76ers. During my lifetime (now over a half-century), the Sixers have only won one championship—in 1983, truly one of the greatest teams in Philadelphia sports history: Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Moses Malone and all-stars Mo Cheeks, Andrew Toney, and sixth-man Bobby Jones. Not to mention a superb cast of role players. I was 15 years old. Now, 39 years later, the goal remains about one thing—winning another championship. Twenty-four hours ago, the Sixers already had this year’s possible MVP in Joel Embiid—enjoying a crazy monster year. They had Tobias Harris, who has struggled mightily coming off the COVID-19, but who is now finally finding his form. Tobias is a solid player but really needs to be the third man on a quality championship contender. This year, he has been the second guy, because reviled man-baby Ben Simmons refused to play. And even when Simmons was playing, the Sixers were not a championship contender because he literally cannot shoot a basketball and cannot handle the pressure of the NBA playoffs.
So, without going into all the details of the trade (six total players and two draft picks), the crux of it is that the Sixers traded an immature malcontent to the Brooklyn Nets for James Harden, a perennial all-star and one of the best on-ball guards in the league. Something the Sixers absolutely needed and did not have. Now, I am also realistic. The 32-year-old Harden is on the downside of his career. Not even close to the MVP level of several years back. He is prone to injury and has had some malcontent issues himself. Plus, Harden is now signed for this year and next, and to keep him after that may be problematic or unpalatable. But the 2022 version of James Harden remains a legit all-star and an immense improvement over Simmons. And the way a healthy Embiid is playing this year, 2022 (and the next couple of years) is what it is all about right now. The 76ers are still not the Eastern Conference championship favorites (The Nets and Bucks), and of course, whoever comes out of the East will have to play the Suns or some other powerhouse Western Conference Champion. So instead of getting bogged down in more details (which I could do), let me sum it up by saying I love the Sixers and I love this trade because it increases our odds of winning the NBA title this year or next.
Now onto the multi-family analysis… Between Year-end 2020 and Year-end 2021, Philadelphia multi-unit properties increased in value by 12%. That is slotted between single family’s 19% and condo’s 6%. To me, that makes sense. With respect to the number of sales, multi-units increased 45%, much more than single family’s 20% and condo’s 29%.
There is a lot in play in the multi-family arena. On the one hand, Philly’s restrictions, regulatory hurdles, and costs heaped on landlords have increased dramatically. This has been a nationwide trend, in part due to the pandemic, in part to the overall housing shortage, and also just part of a nationwide trend favoring tenants’ rights. Pro-landlord advocates claim that the city is going to drive landlords out of town, hurt property values, etc. Uh… not so fast.
Because at the same time, rental prices (both in Philly and nationwide) are continuing to increase, sometimes dramatically. Certainly enough to make up for having to pay a few hundred bucks and jump through a few hoops for a lead-safe certificate, for example. The proof is in the pudding. Multi-family sales and prices are both up. Investors not only see Philly as offering excellent investment value but are high on Philly for the future as well. (As am I.)
With only 1,667 multi-unit sales in the City in 2021, the neighborhood sample sizes are going to be small. Really too small for any meaningful analysis, but let’s discuss a few for fun. Fitler Square was up 132%. Three sales went for an average of $1.48M compared to the three sales in 2020, which averaged $640,000. Wash West had nine 2021 sales and the values went up 46% from about $735,000 to $1,075,000. Yet the Wash West days on market increased by 100%. Again, small sample sizes create volatile numbers that are fun to look at, but statistically insignificant.
Anyway, I really enjoyed discussing the 2020 and 2021 market data over the past month (and analyzing the huge 76ers trade). A quick word on the 2022 market—Extremely Light Inventory. I look forward to seeing how it develops as we move into the Spring market.
Enjoy the Super Bowl, Happy Valentine’s Day, and I hope you have a great weekend.
CBT Shares the Love
This week, CBT got together virtually to finally have our delayed annual gift exchange. We shared the love by giving each other gift cards from local Philly restaurants and businesses and making donations to local organizations on behalf of each other.
Here are the businesses and organizations we chose:
5 BD | 2.5 BA | 3,348 SF | Lovely Front Porch | Large Rear Yard | $565,000
A significant home in the Penn Alexander Catchment. Very large, nice character, and one of the largest rear yards in University City. The serene rear yard is 100′ with additional green space beyond it. The entire lot is 196′, and includes an established front garden as well, leading up to the lovely front porch. The rear yard also has a deck and established garden (and cherry and peach trees).
On a great block, this home has the bones to be a premier Spruce Hill residence. When creating your home, here is what you will have to work with — 10′ ceilings on the 1st floor and 9’+ on the 2nd and 3rd. Original pine floors through some of the home. Exposed brick. Leaded glass, original character and a lot of cute and quirky details you would expect to find in West Philadelphia. 5 large light filled bedrooms plus a family room. 2.5 baths. Great windows and light throughout.
The kitchen (overlooking the deck and huge yard) is big and bright with lots of windows and offers a superb palette for the renovation. The dining area offers a gas fireplace that provides a warm glow to the exposed brick as well as really comfortable heat.
The 2nd floor has 2 bedrooms, a full bath, and a grand family room overlooking the rear yard.
The 3rd floor has a large, bright front bedroom, perhaps to be combined with the adjacent bedroom to create an awesome main bedroom suite.
Big rear bedroom overlooking the rear yard. Skylight. Excellent closet and storage space throughout.
Big, dry basement.
This is an amazing home on a great block in the Penn Alexander Catchment. Within blocks of Clark Park and its phenomenal Farmers Market, Local 44, Bottle Shop, Green Line, ReAnimator Coffee and Knockbox Cafe, TacoTacoMexican (formerly Honest Tom’s), Tampopo, Pop Shop, Renata’s, Clarkville, Baltimore Avenue Restaurant Row, CVS, movie theater, and much more. Two blocks to the Penn Alexander School. Walk to HUP, Penn, CHOP, Penn Vet, Drexel, University of the Sciences, Presby, Science Center. 11 minutes to Center City by car and plenty of convenient SEPTA options. With a 95 WalkScore and 97 BikeScore.
Check out the Tony and Grammy award-winning musical Hadestown at the Academy of Music. Hadestown, created by Anaïs Mitchell, intertwines the love stories of Orpheus and Eurydice, and King Hades and Persephone. The show will be running from February 9th to the 20th.
Head to InterAct Theatre to see Harrison David Rivers’ powerful play, “This Bitter Earth.” This play delves into the love story of Jesse, an introspective Black playwright, and Neil, his white boyfriend and Black Lives Matter activist. (Show runs through February 20th.)
As always, please know that I’m humbled by and appreciative of your introductions and referrals. If you have a friend, colleague, or family member that is in need of Expert Real Estate Representation, please have them contact me.
Be assured, I will do my best to exceed their expectations! Thanks for taking the time to read this issue of Around the Block.
Some imagery in this e-newsletter was sourced via UWISHUNU and Canva.