Market Report: Fishtown, 19125

FISHTOWN Market WatchFISHTOWN continues to be one of the hot Philadelphia Zip Codes. Between the beginning of 2015 and September 1, 2015 there have been 474 recorded sales listed in the Trend MLS. This figure does not include any private sales that were not in the MLS. On average homes spend 57 days on the market with a median DOM of 32 days. The high sale was a property on Shackamaxon Street for $815,000. The low end was a property on North Water Street for a whopping $3,000. The median sale price is $242,000 while the average sale price is a more robust $256,910. The Original List Price (OLP) to Sale Price (SP) ratio was 94.62% during this time period.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers are a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing. If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call. We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have. For more information please visit our website at You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or


What Happend to the Spring Market?

In a post earlier this year I interviewed four of the top real estate agents in the Greater Philadelphia Metro area about their thoughts on the market. All four felt that inventory, namely the lack of, was going to be the biggest factor in the market going forward…and I totally agreed with them.

Well, here it is half way through 2014 and I’m seeing some odd trends. Take a look at the numbers below that were taken right from the TrendMLS.  Thank you, TReND MLS for publishing this great info.

The Coyle Group - Philadelphia Stats - Appraiser

The Coyle Group - Bucks Stats - Appraiser   The Coyle Group - Chester Stats - Appraiser   The Coyle Group - Montgomery Stats - Appraiser

In Philadelphia and the surrounding “collar” counties (Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery) all of the inventory levels increased over the 2013 levels.  Adding to that, the data indicates that settled sales are flat or down compared to last year.  In fact, Philly, Bucks and Delaware counties are showing signs of over-supply (7 months of inventory being the lower end of what many in the industry would classify as an over-supply).

What?! The inventory levels were supposed to be low. It was a Buyer’s market, no one was selling. Buyers were chomping at the bit to jump on any listing that popped up. There were going to be bidding wars and homes selling for thousands over asking price. What happened?!?!   (Now, I know there are agents out there who are having a fabulous Spring and Summer.  I’m just pointing out that the numbers suggest a different trend.)

Well, I honestly think it was the brutal winter we had. It forced Buyers to the sideline and effectively killed the Spring Selling Season. Essentially, the Spring Selling Season never happened and inventory began to pile up as Buyers went into Summer-mode.  Now, typically we will see a bump in Buyer activity once Summer is over and school starts, again.

Hopefully, that will be the case this year, too. What are your thoughts on how the 2014 market is playing out?


The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers is a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or


What Philly Agents Are Saying About 2014

As a Philadelphia Real Estate Appraiser, I know what trends I’m seeing day-to-day in the neighborhoods of Philly. However, I thought it would be fun to ask some area Agents what their thoughts were on a couple of issues. Below are the questions I asked along with some of the responses from some of the Philadelphia region’s top agents.

1. How would you describe the Spring market in Philadelphia Metro area so far? and where do you see it going for the remainder of 2014?

2. What do you think has the greatest influence on the market right now…Inventory? Interest Rates? Buyers back in the market?


The Coyle Group - Mark WadeMark Wade

Center City Condos

I hear a lot of talk about the up’s and down’s of today’s market. And what most Realtors are witnessing is multiple offers, properties selling at or above asking    price and a decreased “days on market” statistic.

For the majority of the Center City market, there are more buyers than available inventory and the shift in that relationship will give rise to actions that we see more of today than we would have even six months ago- such as multiple offer bidding. I just encountered three offers on the same home in one day and that home had sat idle for almost two months.

Also becoming common are full asking price offers or even over asking price offers. I think it makes sense (many buyers see the time as being right to snag a condo out of the clutches of others and are therefore willing to put their best foot forward). I am now telling my buyers that IF they see a home they want – do not hesitate to go in quick and strong. Because nothing is more painful than a bidding war. Good for sellers, not so much for buyers.

Lastly, Realtors I speak with also confirm that they are seeing a decrease in the “days on market” calculations. Many homes are selling within days, even hours after being listed for sale

I think the biggest influence today is the lack of overall inventory.


The Coyle Group - Dan CaparoDan Caparo

Coldwell Banker Preferred

Vice President

Although we had a setback in sales due to the harsh winter for the first quarter for 2014 the spring real estate market has arrived and is brisk for buyers and sellers alike.   Our Real Estate market is built around school year more so than the seasonality of the warmer months – they just happen to go hand and hand.   People like to have their children finish school at their current district and start fresh with a new one by September.   There is a considerable inventory shortage in our regional marketplace and well-priced homes don’t last for more than a week.  I still find that price points of $800K+ are moving along in a more healthy fashion but still not to the level of the under $800K markets.

A housing shortage has a great impact followed by the continued challenges of mortgage financing and our tight money policy.  As the mortgage market opens up and loosens its restrictive barriers and other investors [in addition to Fannie / Freddie] enter the home finance market we will see continued improvement in unit sales volume and appreciation.  I believe that rates shouldn’t be a problem until they begin to reach 6%+ because at that point we will see affordability issues.


The Coyle Group - Matt DonnellyMatt Donnelly

Coldwell Banker Preferred

BUSY! Any properties hitting the market that are priced right, move in ready, and in a semi-desirable location are going under contract within 3 weeks on the market. With rising interest rates and more consumers being approved for mortgages I expect 2014 to remain a hot market. Buyers are ready to purchase but need to act quickly because there is a lack of inventory of good, saleable listings.

There are plenty of buyers in this market, and interest rates are still historically low. The greatest influence right now appears to be lack of inventory. We need more sellers!


The Coyle Group - Frank DefazioFrank DeFazio

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS

The spring 2014 market is off to a hot start likely due to the pent up demand from a frustratingly cold winder and fears about potentially rising interest rates.  Demand continues to outpace supply and so we are seeing a lot of multiple bids and escalation clauses which is driving home sale prices up. As long as inventory is low and demand is high prices will continue to increase, which is great for sellers but not for buyers.

 Low inventory. Agents have been pounding the pavement for listings since January of 2013 but demand is strong and homes that are priced well and move in ready continue to sell in days, often with multiple offers.  Builders have taken note and new construction inventory is coming towards the end of the summer but for now low inventory continues to cause feeding frenzies and high competition among buyers.


I’d like to thank Mark, Dan, Matt and Frank for their insights.  I find it interesting that they all cited “low inventory” as being the greatest influence on the Philadelphia 2014 real estate market.   I couldn’t agree more.  This market is quickly turning into a text book Sellers Market.  We all know when inventory is low and demand is high, prices will rise.  That’s good for everyone…except maybe Buyers.

The Coyle Group’s team of Philadelphia appraisers is a leading provider of appraisals for Estate/Probate, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Tax Appeal and Pre-Listing appraisals.  If you need a guest speaker at your next sales meeting, please give us a call.  We would welcome to opportunity to speak to your group and field any appraisal related questions you may have.  For more information please visit our website at  You can also contact The Coyle Group at 215-836-5500 or




Philadelphia Trends thru July 2012

Now that Summer is coming to an end, we can begin to take a look back to see just how the Philadelphia Single Family and Condo market fared.  Below is a chart comparing year over year activity in Philadelphia for July 2011 and July 2012.  Based strictly on the numbers, the overall Philadelphia market appears to be improving, albeit in very small increments.  On a neighborhood by neighborhood basis, the trends may differ.

Let me know if this is what you see in your markets.

Click on the chart for an enlarged view (you may have to click on it twice).


 * Data provided by TReND MLS




Bucks & Chester County Tax Appeal Deadlines Approaching

The deadline for filing a tax assessment appeal in Bucks and Chester Counties is quickly approaching.  August 1, 2011 is the final day that assessment appeals can be filed with the Assessors Office for Bucks and Chester County. 

So, if you are thinking about filing an appeal, now is the time to act.  You will need to fill out a appeal application and submit it to the assessor’s office along with the appropriate filing fee.  In Bucks and Chester Counties the filing fee for a residential property is $25.

In an assessment appeal the burden of proof is on the property owner.  If you are going to represent yourself, you will need all the documentation necessary to support your case.  You should bring pictures of your property, including any damage or detracting features.  You should have information on comparable sales in your neighborhood.  You can get this from the public records, from a real estate agent of from websites like Zillow.  However, I would not recommend Zillow since the values the site produces can be grossly inaccurate. 

Having a current appraisal of your home completed by a certified real estate appraiser specifically for the purpose of the tax appeal is probably your best alternative.  An appraisal completed for any other purpose such as a refinance could be rejected by the Board at the hearing.  The cost of the appraisal can easily be offset by the savings from a successful appeal.  Some appraisers will even attend the hearing with you (sometimes for a fee) so that they can answer any questions the Board of Assessment may have about the appraisal while hearing your case.  Remember, appraisers cannot advocate for you.  You will have to be your own advocate.  The appraiser can; however, answer questions about the appraisal done on your property.

If you elect to have someone represent you at your hearing (either a professional tax appeal firm or an attorney), they will take care of the application process, obtaining an appraisal and representing you at the appeal hearing.  In some cases, this can really work in your favor.  These professionals know the system and can advocate on your behalf.   We work with a number of tax appeal firms and would gladly provide recommendations if you need one.

If you are not sure whether or not you have a case for an appeal, please feel free to contact one of the appraisers at our office.  We will take a look at your situation and give you an indication as to whether an appeal would be worth your while. 

But hurry…time is running out!


No Housing Recovery until 2014 Reports Appraiser News

In an email released this morning, reported that there is mounting evidence that there will not be a housing recovery until 2014.  They cite several recent articles and surveys that have been released by noted market analysts and research companies that follow the real estate markets.

Below is the article.  When reading it and the cited studies, keep in mind that the analysis is from a national perspective.  Remember, real estate is a local topic.  What is happening nationally may not be reflective of what is happening in the local Philadelphia region.


The Reports are Unanimous, The Real Estate Market Continues to Worsen

Where do we begin? has been warning about the storm clouds on the horizon for a prolonged period and has called for measures to deal with this crisis before it deepens.

While recent reports highlight the severity of the situation, those in a position to take actions to support the residential and commercial real estate markets are doing nothing positive to address the many problems. In no particular order, here are some of the recent studies and reports that we have viewed.

On May 18th, Prashant Gopal writing for Bloomberg cited a Trulia/RealtyTrac study which showed that more than of their survey respondents (homeowners and renters) now felt that they did not expect a recovery in the housing market for at least three years. The article quotes Pete Flint, Trulias CEO, as saying that We have another 18 months until we start to see signs of price stability in the housing market. The negative impact of the shadow inventory is prominently cited in the report by Mr. Gopal who refers to both CoreLogic and RealtyTrac findings. Forecasts by Moodys Analytics and S&P/Case-Shiller findings are also discussed in this report, a link to which is found here: US Housing Market May Not Recover Until 2014: Survey

In a report by CNBCs Diana Olick on May 16th, the lack of confidence of homebuilders as reflected in the National Association of Home Builders monthly report was discussed. Writing for Bloomberg the following day, Bob Willis discussed the unexpected decline in housing starts in the new Commerce Department report. Two days later, Mr. Willis along with Shobhana Chandra discussed the unexpected decline in existing home sales reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that day along with the report that the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index also declined. Links to these three reports are found here:
Home Builder Sentiment Stagnates in May: NAHB

Housing Starts in U.S. Unexpectedly Fall to 523,000 Pace; Permits Decline

U.S. Economy: Previously Owned Home Sales Unexpectedly Fall


Double Dip

It’s official, a report released by Clear Capital concluded that we are in a “Double Dip” real estate market.  This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following this blog or tracking the foreclosure market.  Below is a video released by that explains what it is, how it got here and where we are going from this point.

One interesting statistic that they cite in the report is the fact that Philadelphia has fared relatively well in this down trend in the real estate market, only declining 2.2% below the market bottom of 2009. I guess that’s a small glimmer of hope that we can hold onto…for now that is.


Shadow Inventory

On March 31, 2011 CoreLogic reported that the residential “shadow inventory” declined to 1.8 millions units, in January.  That’s great! Or is it? 

First, who is CoreLogic?  Well, they are a huge, publicly traded research firm that per their website “is a leader in innovative analytics, information and outsourcing solutions for businesses and government seeking dynamic insights.” 

What is a “shadow inventory”?  The “shadow inventory” is the built up stockpile of homes that are not listed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that are either seriously delinquent, in foreclosure or REOs.  They are homes that may not be for sale yet but, may be on the market in the future.  Many of these homes are being held off the market by banks.  There are also more than 2.2 million homes that have negative equity and are likely to become part of the “shadow inventory”.  These properties are the “lurking-in-the-shadows-inventory”.

Now, while it is encouraging news that the “shadow inventory” went down in January, let’s put it in perspective.  In addition to the not yet on the market “shadow inventory” it is estimated that there are currently 3.5 millions homes in the nation’s official inventory.  Look at it this way, if no homes were put on the market, it would take more than 8.6 months to burn through the supply of official inventory.  

CoreLogic estimates that it will take 9 months to work through the 1.8 million homes that make up the “shadow inventory” at current absorption rates.  Factor in the 2.2 million homes that are part of the “lurking-in-the-shadows-inventory” and there is more than 2 years of housing inventory looming.  Personally, I feel the time required for the market to take back these inventories is more like 3-4 years.

While the numbers in the report paint a national picture, the local numbers are just as concerning.  In fact, New Jersey led the nation having the largest supply of distressed properties.  Pennsylvania was 18th overall, Delaware was 5th

What does this mean for our local real estate markets?  Well, just because a state may have a massive inventory of distressed homes does not necessarily mean continued plummeting prices.  But, the presence of these properties will act to slow the pace of the market’s recovery in those affected areas.  It’s simple supply and demand.  In this area, I would think that high-density markets like Philadelphia and Norristown will feel the pinch more than most.  But, realize that no market is going to be totally insulated from the wave of foreclosures looming off our shores.


Inventory Levels

Inventory levels in the Philadelphia housing market are up over January 2010.  The latest data TReND MLS reports the following:

County Available Units Months of Inventory
Philadelphia 8,138 9
Montgomery 4,829 8
Bucks 3,421 8
Delaware 3,367 9
Chester 3,361 9

* Calculations based on single family dwellings as of 02/14/2011

These numbers basically tell us that if no more homes were listed for sale as of today, it would take 8 or 9 months to sell off the current inventory of homes.  This is an over-supply.  When there is an oversupply in the real estate market this puts downward pressure on pricing. 

Back when the market was on fire in 2004-2006, it was not uncommon to see inventory levels in the 2-3 month range.  In some areas, there were months that the levels went under 2 months.  Homes were selling the day that they went on the market.  This was a classic example of undersupply.  An “in balance” inventory is generally viewed as being between 3-6 months of supply.

It will be interesting to see how inventory levels are affected as the Spring Selling season begins.  Traditionally, Spring is the time when Sellers list their homes.  So we may see an uptick in inventory as new listings hit the market.  The question is, will the Spring Buyers be there to soak up the inventory?


Mount Airy Trends

Being located in Erdenheim, just outside the city limits, we are frequently asked to appraise properties in northwestern Philadelphia, especially Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, Roxborough and Manayunk. 

The other day we received our first question for the Ask PAB! section of the site.  It was submitted by a local agent who works primarily in the northwest section of Philly.  She typically deals with entry level and first time buyers.  For that segment of the market, Mount Airy offers a great selection of housing options for her clientele, in a wide range of price points and design styles.   It has very appealing housing stock, access to transportation, shopping, proximity to Center City and the suburbs and very unique community atmosphere.  Her question was simply:

 “How have Mt. Airy twins and rows been performing over the past couple of years?”

Below is a chart of the sales of 3-4 bedroom twins and rowhomes in Mt. Airy from January 2008 through December 2010.  Click on the chart to enlarge.

The blue dots indicate the sales of 3 bedroom homes; the red dots represent the 4 bedroom sales.  Our sample produced 341 sales of 3 bedrooms and 105 sales of 4 Bedroom homes, in Mt. Airy, during that time period.  The green and yellow lines depict the linear sale price trends for 3 and 4 bedroom houses, respectively.

The trend lines indicate that both 3 and 4 bedroom homes are moving downward.  However, it appears as though the 4 bedroom properties are experiencing a deeper shift that the 3 bedrooms, which are riding a flatter trend.  This is likely due to the fact that there are fewer 4 bedrooms homes and, as a result, fewer 4 bedroom sales.  With a smaller sample, it is easier for a few sales to influence the trend.  Conversely, with a greater number of samples it is less likely that a handful of sales to move the trend so dramatically.

If you have a question about real estate markets and trends in the Philadelphia region, please visit our Ask PAB! page to submit your inquiry.