South Philly rent on the rise

Last week the Center City District released a new report on the housing development in Philadelphia.

table-sevenThe most notable finding from this data is the continuous increase in rent in South Philly neighborhoods, including pretty large changes happening in Point Breeze.

As you can see from the chart, Point Breeze has seen a 17% increase in the cost of median rent by square foot, showing the progression of the neighborhood. It has been feared for a while now that as the neighborhood is being redeveloped, long-time residents may be pushed out due to increasing rents. By the looks of the increase from $1.07 to $1.25 for rent by square foot in the span of a year, this fear could soon become a reality for the neighborhood.

Just as expected, Passyunk Square rents are increasing, as well, but only by 6%, bringing the median rent by square foot from $1.30 to $1.38. You can also see a 7% increase in Queen Village, 8% in Bella Vista and 5% in Pennsport.

4 thoughts on “South Philly rent on the rise

  • February 23, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the raising of real estate taxes

    • February 23, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Yes and no. To some extent it’s inevitable that higher taxes will be passed along to renters. But at the same time, landlords will always charge the maximum rent that the market will bear. There’s clearly upward demand pressure in South Philly regardless of the tax situation. The higher real estate taxes just mean that landlords keep a lower % return from our rents, and more goes to the City.

      tl;dr landlords would still gouge you for as much rent as they possibly can, regardless of real estate taxes

  • February 26, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    So it’s about the same cost to rent in Point Breeze as it is in Pennsport… if you’re a renter, why on earth would anyone choose Point Breeze over Pennsport?

    • February 27, 2015 at 9:58 am


      Good eye! I agree with your hypothetical question.

      I think the answer is that “Median Rent Per Square Foot” does not tell the whole story.

      When renters (or buyers) compare they are looking at condition and amenities in addition to size, location and price.

      So, my hunch is that there are some newly renovated (and new construction) houses in Point Breeze that are driving the $PSF up. Some with garage parking etc.

      Also, I’m not certain what the research is using as the specific boundaries for the neighborhoods in question.

      Finally, just the word “median”. Obviously you can units on the high side or low side of median.

      Funny observation though. The raw numbers don’t tell the whole story.


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