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Report: Philly’s housing trends most similar to Midwestern cities

Our peer cities include Akron, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan

Philly’s housing characteristics are very similar to those in Midwestern cities like Akron and and Lansing.
Photo by Melissa Romero

To state the obvious, Philadelphia’s housing market is nothing like New York or San Francisco’s. The median monthly housing cost in SF is somewhere around $1,700, while in Philly it’s nearly half that, at $904.

So in what cities can you find housing characteristics that are similar to Philly? Look to the Midwest.

A new tool created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago earlier this year shows that Akron, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan, among others, have housing markets that are on par with Philly. The online tool, called Peer Cities Identification Tool (PCIT), allows cities to identify what other places in the U.S. are facing similar challenges or issues, focusing on four areas that include housing, equity, resilience, and outlook.

For example, when it comes to housing, the homeownership rates in Philly and Akron are nearly identical at 52.6 percent and 52.3 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the percent of rent-burdened households in Philly is on par with many Midwestern cities, as well.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Out of all of the peer cities, however, Philly has the highest median monthly cost of living and home value to income ratio. In fact, Philly’s 3:8 home value to income ratio surpasses the median ratio among all 300 cities included in the analysis.

Meanwhile, this chart by JLL Research shows apple-to-apple comparisons of Philly and its peer cities among all four economic areas.