Why So Many New Yorkers Are Moving To Philadelphia

Posted on Apr 03, 2018

New York City is great. So what's up with the steady stream of New Yorkers packing up and heading to Philadelphia? What does the City of Brotherly Love have on the Big Apple?

It's not just that Philly is underrated (although it is). And sure, the cheesesteaks are good and the Eagles are dominating, but they aren't fueling the New York migration.

What many New Yorkers have begun to realize is just how much further their dollar goes in the thriving neighbor city.

New York's astronomical cost of living has made investing in real estate and reaching the American dream of homeownership unattainable for the vast majority of New Yorkers. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia (a mere 75-minute train ride south), you can own an urban home and grow your savings at the same time. It's like having your cake and eating it too.

While New Yorkers moving to Philadelphia isn't a new trend, it is becoming more pronounced. Data shows approximately 26,597 New Yorkers fled to Philadelphia in 2015.

Take a look at what the home search is like for the average New Yorker.

The median household income for owner-occupied homes in the trendy Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn is $105,205. According to NerdWallet’s Housing Affordability Calculator, this income means the homes you can best afford are under $569,751. How many properties in the 11211 Zip Code fall under that price? A dismal 7 properties. Even worse, all of these units are small apartment units in co-ops, which typically means there are undisclosed additional maintenance fees that may even put some of these slim pickings out of reach once factored in.

Now compare that to Fishtown – Philadelphia’s trendy Williamsburg-equivalent neighborhood. In Fishtown's 19125 Zip Code, there are currently 183 properties for sale – 170 of which are under the $569,751 price threshold. The majority of these homes are single family rowhomes much larger than the typical NY co-op, without any HOA or maintenance fees. In other words, an astonishing 93% of the homes currently available in Fishtown would be affordable to prospective home buying households making $105,205 per year. 

Here's some even better news: you don't need to spend $570k to get a great house in Fishtown. Take a look inside this gorgeous rowhome –– and notice its $385k price tag is nearly $200,000 under your estimated budget.

Sure, it's not as cut and dry as it looks. Not everyone will be able to bring their New York wages with them to Philadelphia. While the median Fishtown household brings in $61,701 annually, it's unlikely you'll take such a harsh pay cut (according to salary.com you can expect to make about 10% less for the same job in Philly). Even if your income dropped in line with the Fishtown median, you could still buy a home worth $335,927 – meaning 79 out of those same 183 properties (or around 47%) would still be available to you.

If you’re considering joining the thousands of people moving to Philadelphia, our salaried Realtors would love to show you around. Let us match you with the perfect Houwzer buyer agent for your needs.

Get Started

P.S. Don’t forget to make us buy you a local beer at Johnny Brenda’s once you’re done.

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