Philadelphia on Track to Build Record Number of Apartments in 2022

A researcher from the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University tells a tale of two housing markets—rental and for-sale—in the City of Brotherly Love.

Read Time: 2 minutes

January 4, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"Developers could build a record number of rental units in Philadelphia in 2022," reports Aaron Moselle for WHYY.

"Based on the volume of building permits approved by the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections in 2021, the final figure for the year could balloon to 10,000 — more than triple the average annual total of 3,000 to 4,000 new apartments," adds Moselle.

Developers ramped up permitting activity in 2021 to take advantage of the city's existing ten-year tax abatement for new construction, which is scheduled to begin shrinking by 10 percent in 2022, according to Kevin Gillen, a senior research fellow with the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University, who is responsible for the data driving the narrative of the article. Still, the development activity suggests that developers are bullish on the Philadelphia rental market, according to Gillen.

As noted by Moselle, the wave of development interest in the rental housing market is juxtaposed with a roller coaster in the for-sale housing market. "Last summer, home prices were up 20%. They’re now up just 10%, a noteworthy drop and a potential sign that prices could level out sooner rather than later," according to Moselle. The article includes more details on the affordability of Philadelphia (spoiler alert, Philly is the least affordable housing market in the region, according to Gillen).

The market pressure for new developments has led the city to beef up its historic preservation efforts in recent weeks and months.

Monday, January 3, 2022 in WHYY

Chicago Commute

The Right to Mobility

As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.

January 26, 2023 - Angie Schmitt

Aerial view of dense single-family homes in neighborhood still under construction

How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development

Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.

January 23, 2023 - The Virginia Mercury

New York City Coronavirus

The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Remake Downtown

Urban cores around the country were transforming into live, work, and play destinations before the pandemic. The pandemic was a setback for this transformation, but it could also be a rare opportunity. It’s up to city leadership to seize it.

January 23, 2023 - The Washington Post

Rendering of red seven-story student housing building with students walking in open grassy plaza in front of building

L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform

The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.

32 minutes ago - Los Angeles Times

Seattle buses in line at a depot with Seattle skyline in background

Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing

Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.

1 hour ago - Route Fifty

Broad street in downtown Columbus, Ohio with two pedestrians in crosswalk

Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits

The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.

2 hours ago - The Columbus Dispatch