Report details PAS catchment home price increase

May 2, 2011

The Penn Alexander School catchment. (click to enlarge)

Penn’s Institute of Urban Research has released a report that confirms what everyone who has been house shopping in West Philadelphia already knows –  home prices in the Penn Alexander School catchment area have quadrupled since 1998.

The average home sale price in the catchment, which roughly runs from 40th Street to 47th and Sansom Street to Chester Avenue and parts of Woodland Avenue, has risen to about $430,000, a 211 percent increase since 1998. Home prices in the PAS catchment far outpace prices in the rest of the city. Home prices during the same period elsewhere in West Philadelphia and in University City have roughly doubled. Prices in Center City have risen 87 percent.

Average home prices in the Penn Alexander catchment are now roughly on par with properties in Center City.

Home prices have outpaced rent increases as well, which “suggests that the households in University City has shifted in composition from renters to owners,” according to the report.

The report credits the creation of the University City District, Penn’s mortgage program for employees and the Penn Alexander School with the rise in home prices.

13 Comments For This Post

  1. lb Says:

    And because of this some of us who have lived here for years and years are unable to afford to purchase a home because of the school. You have to be part of the upper wealthy class to afford it. It is sad after renting for 10+ years and you think you can finally afford to purchase a home in your neighborhood that you cant because of this school. I will be leaving West Philly soon to move somewhere I can afford!

  2. CR Says:

    lb, you could also look for a home outside of the catchment. University City/West Philly certainly doesn’t end where the catchment boundaries do. You can still find a nice home for under $200k in areas slightly north and west of the PAS catchment–I know because I own one of them.

  3. Adam Says:

    While home prices in the catchment have sky-rocketed, the neighborhoods in West Philadelphia that are North, South and West of the catchment remain some of the most affordable areas to live in the city. Especially when you consider the quality of the housing and the price per square foot, there are few neighborhoods that can really compare.

  4. Levana Says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the entire city of Philadelphia had such excellent public schools that one school wouldn’t create such tremendous inequity? Don’t all of our kids deserve an education that valuable? Instead of being bitter about the school, I would ask Philadelphians to question whether the city should be investing in schools instead of the Comcast tower and stadiums for sports teams.

  5. stephanie Says:

    all schools in philadelphia should be as coveted as sadie alexander.

    that the SDP and harrisburg are now threatening withdrawal of full day kindergarten ( including sadie alexander ) using children and families as pawns in a political game, should make parents want to rise up.

    i know if i spent the night in -9 degree temperatures, i’d be pretty pissed off.

    every child has the right to a quality education, all of the children of west philadelphia should

  6. stephanie Says:

    be given a “penn” education.

  7. Jo Says:

    Is there any discussion in expanding these types of partnerships with other universities in and around Philly? Temple, Drexel, La Salle, Chestnut Hill, Holy Family, and St. Joe’s all have reputable education programs. Shouldn’t we use the resources that are available and that have a history of being effective?

  8. kitty Says:

    “West Philadelphia that are North, South and West of the catchment ”

    Please let me know where this is, streets? Being new to the area I have looked close to the catchment besides in it.
    I am wondering where some safe and decent areas are outside of the catchment. It seems even if you are close to the catchment housing in West Philly seems high. Unless you go out towards 60th. Even housing at 50th seems to have gone up.

  9. Mike Lyons Says:

    There are lots of great areas outside of the catchment – Springfield west of 47th, Osage/Larchwood west of 47th are a couple – but you are right even these areas are getting out of reach for many folks.

  10. stephanie Says:

    i just saw a trulia post today : 46xx larchwood : listed for $639,000
    5 br, 3 ba, Single-Family Home
    Cedar Park


  11. Hilary Says:

    How do people feel about overbrook?

  12. Anna Says:

    Overbrook is beautiful. But, it would be harder to live in many sections of Overbrook without a car (very easy to do in Univ City), and (on the positive side) St. Joe’s has a mortgage assistance program in Overbrook that you might figure out a way to take advantage of.

    If you are able to reduce the number of cars you own & maintain by living in the Univ City neighborhood, you can afford more on your mortgage, is the way I see it…

  13. Amara Says:

    To me, it seems the appropriate response to this would be to go to the Neighborhood Schools Event Thursday May 5th 5:45 p.m. at 4700 Locust in the Lea Elementary Auditorium!

    Very excited for this evening of positive, productive discussions on how the community can support its neighborhood schools.

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