4.07.2008

FLORIDA BULLISH ON PHILLY

Make that at least two of us who are bullish on Philly, although Richard Florida is about a million times smarter and more influential than I, so him saying so means more: Why Phila. Economic Future Looks So Bright."

The last point, about Philly's housing affordability vis a vis Boston, New York, and Washington, begs the question: why? If we're such an attractive place to be, why isn't it reflected in our house prices?

In some neighborhoods, that upward adjustment is taking place: even factoring in a recent downward correction, we could probably sell our house for almost four times what we paid for it eight years ago. (Although I still think we’re undervalued: would you pay the current market price for my current house, or the same price for a house half the size in a crummy part of California or Massachusetts?)

But there are still some bargains to be had, when you think of all that Philly has going for it, from an employment, recreation, and infrastructure standpoint. And, as I’ve mentioned many times in this space, the dearer gas becomes, the more denser, transit-oriented cities like Philadelphia gain in competitiveness. (Put it this way: when you factor in how little we spend on transportation, the fairer comparison from a cost of living standpoint is my house at its current market price and a house a third of the size in a really crummy part of California or Massachusetts.) So while it’s obvious to me, it’s still good to hear people like Richard Florida agree.
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