Philadelphia was among the top metro areas to which people moved this year, coming in eighth behind Washington, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Austin and Houston, moving app Updater reports. Rounding out the top 15 were San Francisco, Chicago, Orlando, Seattle, Denver, Boston and Phoenix.
“There’s a lot of business development in Philly,” said Heather Patrone-Shook, president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors. Each of the city’s distinct neighborhoods has its “own dynamics,” she continued. “Each has its own flare. Some have bars, restaurants, shops and stores. Others are more urban-suburban.”
Metropolitan Philadelphia has a population of more than 6 million, average household income of $65,996, and a median home price of $201,000, making it the most affordable city, housing-wise, on the list.
“Philadelphia has a lot of history. It’s one of the top 10 cities techies are moving to,” said Jenna Weinerman, chief marketing officer for Updater, adding that because of the tech curricula at the many colleges and universities in the area and the emphasis on startups, graduates are opting to stay.
“Then there’s the food: cheesesteaks,” said Weinerman, a Philly native who now lives in New York. “It’s a well-deserved award to have Philadelphia so high on our list. It doesn’t get enough credit as a great place to live. There’s a great feeling of pride. There are Philadelphia clubs all over the country.”
Philadelphia is the 85th hottest real estate market of the top 300 in the United States, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Updater issued its first list of top destinations Monday, although it’s been tracking the information since its inception in 2011.
Overall, the 15 cities that topped the list “are some of the most attractive places to live,” Weinerman said. “They’re huge markets with nice suburbs. You don’t have to live downtown to have a really great lifestyle.
Americans in general are migrating back to metro areas, [and] suburban metros are on the rise, pushing the city limits further out.”
The real estate website Trulia reports that suburbs have been gaining population since the recession, albeit more slowly than in past decades. The last U.S. census in 2010 found that nearly 81 percent of Americans — more than 249 million people — live in urban areas. Eleven percent of the U.S. population moves every year.
Updater founder and CEO David Greenberg said the 2017 list represents one of the largest sample sizes of Americans who are actually moving, as opposed to real estate listings, housing trends or the lists compiled by individual moving companies. Updater’s data was collected from a subset of 1 million household goods relocations from Jan. 1 through the fourth quarter. The information is sent to Updater by real estate brokerages, property management companies, mortgage lenders and others, and the company’s software systems aggregate it.
“The list reveals that large cities are very attractive destinations for both consumers that move in and the corporations that attract them,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg, who is an attorney, developed Updater after discovering there was no app out there to help him choose a moving company, change addresses on accounts and other records, and arrange for cable, internet, electricity and other utilities during a particularly aggravating move. The company currently employs 72 people and said it helps 16 percent of those making a move in any given year with those little details. Since the app came online in 2011, the company says it has saved 1 million users 4.7 million hours.