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Real estate's silver lining

Created date

February 28th, 2009

According to a report published on Forbes.com in late December, Philadelphia ranked in the top ten for "America s Best Long-Term Real Estate Bets." According to Forbes, the city is less prone to major real estate fluctuations because it s not overbuilt yet and is attractive to new homebuyers.

Staying stable

Depressed markets, like those in Florida, Las Vegas, and Arizona, are down approximately 40% as opposed to the 5 12% decline in the Philadelphia market and its surrounding areas. "The median price for houses on the market in Philly in 2007 was $139,900, and in 2008 it was $140,000," says Colleen Rosica, personal moving consultant for Erickson Realty & Moving Services at Ann s Choice, an Erickson community in Buck s County. Ann s Choice is located an hour outside of Philadelphia, and many of its residents move there from the Philadelphia area.

Although nationally, housing prices escalated during the big boom of the mid 2000s, the median prices in Philadelphia and its suburbs didn t escalate as much as other markets. "We didn t climb as high, but we didn t have as low to fall," says Lynne Kelleher, real estate agent with Prudential, Fox, and Roach, in Bucks County, as well as a preferred agent for Erickson Realty & Moving Services.

Attractive area, responsible building

Philly and its surrounding areas offer a lot of positives to people, consequently attracting home buyers. The city itself is strategically centered between New York and Baltimore, which is good for commuters.

Additionally, the area is not overbuilt so there isn t a surge of transients looking to make a buck on the housing market when it s hot and then leaving when it fizzles. "There s not the vacancy rate of empty houses, which pulls property values down," Rosica says.

Selling in a stable market

Today s market is starting to stabilize, though there may not be significant growth for at least two years, Kelleher says.

In this type of housing climate, getting the house ready for market before it goes on the market is imperative.

Follow the advice of an experienced agent and the probability of the sale increases exponentially. Read "The right moves" on page 7 for more selling and moving tips.

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