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      Top News in Philly Development: December 2020

      Ever feel like Philly changes so fast you can’t keep up? No sweat. We’ll be bringing you our favorite articles from the month on Philly development – North, South, East, and West. See below for a roundup of all the best local articles from November news.

      Real Estate Trends and Market Updates:

      Philly’s New Building Tax, Abatement Changes to Pay for More Affordable Housing
      Where: NBC 10
      What: Philly’s City Council moved on a couple important real-estate affecting measures. Namely, the 10-year residential tax abatement that was to be phased out will remain in place. There’s an additional 1% tax on new construction, a reduction in commercial real estate tax abatement from 100% to 90%, and the announcement of a $400 million bond package.

      Home inspections are a bargaining chip in Philly area’s hot real estate market
      Where: Philadelphia Inquirer
      What: In the ongoing red-hot Philly-area sellers market in real estate, a newfound willingness for buyers to forgo inspections has become an increasingly prominent bargaining chip. Often sellers will accept a lower offer for a buyer willing to nix the inspection process – usually one of the biggest hang-ups or hold-ups in a sale. That obviously incurs a large amount of risk on the new buyer.

      Suburban Philly Real Estate Market Broke Records In 3rd Quarter
      Where: Patch
      What: The Philly Suburbs market continued to smash records in the 3rd quarter. Median home price rose above 300k for the first time ever, prices generally rose, and million-dollar plus home sales smashed records by a huge margin.

      Wholesaler or huckster? Philly Council passes bill to curb real estate scammers
      Where: WHYY
      What: Philly’s City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to establish regulations and procedures for unlicensed retail wholesalers. AKA the ‘We Buy Houses for Cash’ types. This business thrives on making very low, cash offers to the vulnerable and then reselling the sales contracts to developers at inflated prices. It’s one more tool for communities to slow gentrification.

      How the pandemic changed home buyer and seller behaviors
      Where: The Frederick News-Post
      What: The pandemic ushered in a major shift in home purchasing behaviors in the Philly area, as well as similarly around the country. With most well-off workers in the cities working from home and amenities closed, there was a huge upswing in buyers willing to spend top dollar for homes in the suburbs, driven by a desire for more space.

      Openings and Up-and-Coming Development Projects:

      ‘I Think It’s The Anti-Development Bill’: New Roof Deck Ban Could Be Coming To Part Of Strawberry Mansion
      Where: CBS 3 Philly
      What: The Strawberry Mansion neighborhood has seen an uptick in development, invoking a debate on both gentrification and preservation of the neighborhood’s historical character. Namely, there is a proposal to ban roof decks and roof access structures, which some developers say will cause them to invest their money elsewhere.

      Philadelphia Zoning, Land Use, and Construction COVID-19 Update
      What: Ballard Spahr’s land use and zoning team’s helpful informational update concerning land use/zoning issues coming up in front of the Philadelphia City Council.

      The Arts and Architecture:

      The Andrew W. Mellon and William Penn Foundations Announce $8 Million in COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Support for Philadelphia Arts Organizations
      Where: William Penn Foundation
      What: As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to severely effect urban areas and the arts, these two foundations have announced $8 million in relief to 37 different arts organizations throughout the city.

      Penn’s $100 million pledge has a backstory
      Where: WHYY
      What: The University of Pennsylvania’s made a $100 million pledge to fix unsafe city school buildings, but it wasn’t out of the blue. Activists have been pressuring Penn and similar universities to start donating more in what is called a ‘PILOT’ – an acronym for payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. Many well-endowed universities like Penn are non-profits but own mountains of real estate (Penn’s real estate portfolio is valued at about $3.2) but pay no real estate taxes to the city. These PILOTs can help the city causes that Penn does not pay taxes towards.

      Uncertain future for North Philly horse riding club, famous worldwide and beloved at home
      Where: Billy Penn
      What: Philly’s famous North Philly horse riding club is in danger of losing vital urban pasture ground for their horses. Founded in 2004, the horses have been grazing on blighted city land nearby for over a decade, but a long back-and-forth seems to be concluding as fencing has gone up as the City begins construction on a new housing project, Susquehanna Housing.

      The Little Poconos Town That Accidentally Got Cool
      Where: Philly Mag
      What: Like a number of small towns, the tiny Poconos town of Honesdale has seen a recent influx of younger, former city dwellers revving up the entrepreneurial and amenities scene. Its a bit off the beaten path in the woody mountains, about 2.5 hours from Philly and New York.

      If you’re looking for your next neighborhood and not sure where to go, just ask your Philly Realtor, Christina Briglia, for help! 267.231.5484 or [email protected].

      Category: Blog, News