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Philly ranks No. 3 on a list of trendy and affordable cities

The Realtor.com report cited Philadelphia’s culture, history, and “quaint” neighborhoods.

A file photo shows the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and Philadelphia skyline as seen by drone from Camden in 2020. Realtor.com has named the Philadelphia metro area as a top "trendy" affordable region.. ... Read moreFrank Wiese / Staff
by Michaelle Bond
Published 
Dec. 28, 2021

Philadelphia is the third-“trendiest” affordable metropolitan area in the country, according to analysts at Realtor.com.

They looked at the nation’s 300 largest metros for urban areas that are rich in culture and have a supply of relatively affordable homes compared to high-cost cultural centers. To make the list of 10 cities, metros had to have amenities such as yoga studios, breweries, art house theaters, farmers markets, and bike shops. These regions attracted residents ages 25 to 34 to move into the area between 2018 and 2019, according to the Census Bureau.

The metros also had median home listing prices of $400,000 or less in November. The median price in the Philadelphia area was $312,450.

» READ MORE: Low incomes make Philadelphia homes less affordable, Pew study finds

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The affordability that propelled Philadelphia toward the top of the list is only in comparison to other major cities with high costs of living, said Michael Scipione, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Realty based in Old City.

“It’s cheaper now to live here than in New York or D.C. or Boston, but how long does that last?” Scipione said. “The way it’s going, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to last for much longer.”

He encouraged anyone who wants to live in the city to buy now, before home prices rise further and mortgage rates climb. Scipione said he’s seen a lot of young professionals moving to Philadelphia who are making decent incomes and can work from home. Transplants usually come from other major cities, he said, mostly New York, but also Boston, Washington, and Chicago.

» READ MORE: Philadelphia’s best restaurants for party vibes

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Scipione cited Philadelphia’s world-class food scene, and its many small businesses, shops and nightlife, walkability, and something-for-everyone offerings as reasons the city deserves its “trendy” title.

The Realtor.com report cited Philadelphia’s culture, history, and “quaint” neighborhoods. Predictably, the report specifically mentioned Fishtown and its boutique hotels, restaurants, art galleries, and shops.

» READ MORE: On the House: University City makes a top-10 list for 'hip and trendy' (From 2011)

Savannah, Ga., and New Orleans ranked ahead of Philadelphia as first and second on Realtor.com’s list.

Most of the list’s top “trendiest” areas are smaller cities in the Northeast and Midwest and larger cities in the South. They have cafes and museums. Some, like Philadelphia, sit along rivers. Half are college towns. Some are tourist destinations while others won’t make any lists of top girls trip locations. Median home prices range from $189,000 in a Michigan city to $348,500 in New Orleans.

In the list of top 10 trendiest affordable metros, Philadelphia beat out:

4) New Haven, Conn.

5) Sioux City, Iowa

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6) Albany, N.Y.

7) Kalamazoo, Mich.

8) Eau Claire, Wis.

9) Baltimore

10) Orlando

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Published 
Dec. 28, 2021
I'm an urbanism writer covering how people live in their homes, how the market directs choices, and how policies shape communities.
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Always asking on behalf of the people. Always Local. Always Philly.