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Report: Philly saw nearly 9 percent increase in new construction in 2017

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Plus: Which neighborhoods are experiencing a building boom

More new construction permits were issued in 2017 than in 2016.
Photo by Melissa Romero

There’s no denying that construction sites are everywhere you look in Philly, especially with nearly 30 towers on the rise and even more smaller projects taking hold in neighborhoods throughout the city. But a new report reveals that construction growth may be slowing a bit, coming down from its peak a couple of years ago.

Although more building permits were issued in 2017 than in 2016, there was still a major slowdown in the pace of new construction growth overall, according to Fixlist’s latest report.

FixList, a Philly-based online company that provides real estate data for investment opportunities throughout the city, recently revealed its annual report about construction in Philly, including stats and figures about new building and zoning permits issued in 2017. The report’s findings reveal which neighborhoods are slowing down or experiencing a construction boom, as well as what kind of projects are being built.

A few key details from their findings:

The growth rate of new construction permits slowed in 2017

To be clear, 2017 saw 8.6 percent more construction permits issued than in 2016. But that’s nowhere near the nearly 25 percent growth rate between 2015 and 2016, when the number of permits issued jumped from 916 to 1,198.

The most construction permits were issued for ‘light residential’ projects

Out of of the 1,301 total construction permits issued, the majority of them were for “light residential” types of projects; 826 permits were issued for this category, followed by “medium residential” and “light residential/commercial mixed-use, respectively.

This breakdown in type of construction permits is worth highlighting, given the fact that housing inventory, or the number of homes for sale, hit an all-time low at the end of the year.

Kensington is still popular, but keep an eye on Grays Ferry, Strawberry Mansion, etc.

These charts tell a similar story: Construction hasn’t slowed in neighborhoods like Brewerytown, Francisville, and East Kensington. But the report points out that other neighborhoods show some serious potential and opportunity.

Grays Ferry, Strawberry Mansion, and even a tiny South Philly neighborhood called Greenwich saw a steady uptick in sales of land in 2017. While they have yet to see any construction, the land sales should be considered a sign of changes to come, the report notes.

The percent of properties within neighborhoods issued new construction building permits.