Saturday, April 6, 2013

Affordable Housing in Point Breeze

Naked Philly broke news about the revitalization taking place in Point Breeze, an effort intended to help Philadelphians of average means, particularly those living in Point Breeze, with the opportunity to purchase affordable housing.

Well, what happened?

According to the research done by Naked Philly many of these homes, typically priced in the mid-$100,000s, are being snatched up by cash buyers who only technically meet the requirements.

Is that shocking? People with lots of cash are savvy buyers. They've done their own research, recognizing the convenient proximity of Point Breeze to Center City, and scratched their heads wondering what everyone's been wondering for years: Why is this South Philadelphia neighborhood still a pile of shit?

First of all a $150,000 house just below Washington Avenue is affordable. Those victimized by the carpetbaggers snatching up these houses are no victims. They're renters. Renters are always subject to shifts in the real estate market. And while many may not be able to afford a $150,000 home, or compete with cash buyers, anyone painting the revitalization effort as a red herring is conveniently forgetting the neighborhood's very recent history.

I lived I Point Breeze in 2007, in a home my landlord purchased for $20,000. That isn't affordable housing, that's a lottery win. And that was available to the victimized Point Breeze residents for decades. Even though thirty years ago it wasn't uncommon for home buyers to put down 20%, why did the residents of Point Breeze wait for the inevitable gentrification of their neighborhood to stake their claim?

Anyone scratching their head has an insular view of general economics and the real estate market. Point Breeze is practically Center City. It's a twenty minute walk from the city's wealthiest million dollar brownstones. That it's taken this long for developers to invest in this neighborhood is the only mindboggling fact.

Cities change. This was bound to happen. Anyone being "pushed out" had plenty of time to own this neighborhood yet they sat on their hands. The developers and cash buyers moving into Point Breeze are the only ones actively engaged in investing in this neighborhood and they have every right to be there.

1 comment:

  1. That is usually a good sign for Philadelphia real estate agents if people are snatching up these homes. Hopefully things continue to improve in an upward trend.