Update on Philadelphia’s rental-apartment market (Philadelphia Inquirer)…

Update on Philadelphia’s rental-apartment market

The confluence of low interest rates and falling prices has made homeownership more affordable than in the days of the cave dwellers.  The money, however, remains on the Philadelphia rental-apartment market, whose performance, real estate investment-services firm Marcus & Millichap said, offers further evidence that “a sustainable recovery has taken hold. Although a minimum household income of $49,000 is required to afford the monthly mortgage debt on a previously owned house at the region’s median price — $206,600 in the first quarter of 2012 — high down-payment requirements and stricter lending rules are deterring prospective buyers.

The apartment-vacancy rate has returned to a normal level: 3.9 percent in the first quarter, down 2.6 percentage points since it peaked at the end of 2009, the firm said. Demand for in-city residences pushed the Center City vacancy rate to a seven-year low, 4.1 percent. The rate is higher in South Jersey — 8.5 percent in Cherry Hill/Evesham/Medford — but even that is almost a percentage point lower than it was in the first three months of 2011.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/homepage/20120701_An_update_on_Philadelphia_region_s_rental-apartment_market.html#ixzz1zPJtC4GM
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