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Old 06-27-2020, 12:45 PM
 
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Something I've noticed over the last few years has been how many of the houses in Gladwyne, Bryn Mawr, Penn Valley, and other locations in the Main Line have little to no appreciation when resold. This is an ominous sign for the area, in my opinion. There are also houses that have been up for sale for years, even some that are millions less than just 6-7 years ago! My question is whether anyone else has noticed this. I believe the North Shore suburbs of Chicago have also experienced something similar over the last few years, especially as high-income millennials appear to choose staying in the city over moving to the Main Line. What do you think?

Last edited by max00157; 06-27-2020 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 06-27-2020, 02:08 PM
 
118 posts, read 31,507 times
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Originally Posted by max00157 View Post
Something I've noticed over the last few years has been how many of the houses in Gladwyne, Bryn Mawr, Penn Valley, and other locations in the Main Line have little to no appreciation when resold. This is an ominous sign for the area, in my opinion. There are also houses that have been up for sale for years, even some that are millions less than just 6-7 years ago! My question is whether anyone else has noticed this. I believe the North Shore suburbs of Chicago have also experienced something similar over the last few years, especially as high-income millennials appear to choose staying in the city over moving to the Main Line. What do you think?
It's not unique to the Main Line nor to Philadelphia. Generational changes, likely. Combined with overpaying in the real estate boom of 2000-2007.

Many condos in Center city are also selling for what they paid for 10 years ago.
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Old 06-28-2020, 04:55 PM
 
Location: New York City
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Originally Posted by DXBtoFL View Post
It's not unique to the Main Line nor to Philadelphia. Generational changes, likely. Combined with overpaying in the real estate boom of 2000-2007.

Many condos in Center city are also selling for what they paid for 10 years ago.
Agreed. This thread was created by a new poster, probably a lame troll attempt?

Anyone with even the most remote real estate knowledge would know this is not a trait unique to the Main Line or Philadelphia. Largely the same for nearly every other large established metro region.

I have noticed a slight uptick in prices in certain suburban regions. Many areas are still below or barely meeting their 2006/2007 highs, but Media, PA for example has largely surpassed that previous peak in new construction and resales.

Also as you mentioned, the market for $2M+ suburban homes is not what it used to be (anywhere in the US).

Plus, on a whole, the overall suburban PA regions has remained very steady from a real estate standpoint in recent years, homes in some areas might not hit their 2006/2007 peaks, but the Philadelphia region is less susceptible to the booms and busts in the real estate market for a lot of reasons.

(South Jersey is actually the most susceptible to a continued decrease in home value for a lot of other reasons).
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 603 times
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Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
Agreed. This thread was created by a new poster, probably a lame troll attempt?

Anyone with even the most remote real estate knowledge would know this is not a trait unique to the Main Line or Philadelphia. Largely the same for nearly every other large established metro region.

I have noticed a slight uptick in prices in certain suburban regions. Many areas are still below or barely meeting their 2006/2007 highs, but Media, PA for example has largely surpassed that previous peak in new construction and resales.

Also as you mentioned, the market for $2M+ suburban homes is not what it used to be (anywhere in the US).

Plus, on a whole, the overall suburban PA regions has remained very steady from a real estate standpoint in recent years, homes in some areas might not hit their 2006/2007 peaks, but the Philadelphia region is less susceptible to the booms and busts in the real estate market for a lot of reasons.

(South Jersey is actually the most susceptible to a continued decrease in home value for a lot of other reasons).
Hi! Sorry, I just made an account, and am not a troll; I attended college in the Main Line and actually love the area and am considering moving within the next 2-3 years!

That is an interesting point you bring up: that the suburbs are steady from a real estate standpoint. Do you see it remaining as such in the future? How is the Main Line different other suburbs in this regard? Are the Philadelphia suburbs economically stronger than other suburbs (North Shore) that may be experiencing a similar market?

Another factor to consider is that those $2M+ homes constitute a sizable portion of the Main Line (all of those huge estates, for example). Combined with the fact that millennials are having less children, do you see a use for those estates? Will the next generation of home-buyers actually buy these?

Apologies if my initial post appeared abrasive or troll-esque.
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,059 posts, read 3,383,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max00157 View Post
Hi! Sorry, I just made an account, and am not a troll; I attended college in the Main Line and actually love the area and am considering moving within the next 2-3 years!

That is an interesting point you bring up: that the suburbs are steady from a real estate standpoint. Do you see it remaining as such in the future? How is the Main Line different other suburbs in this regard? Are the Philadelphia suburbs economically stronger than other suburbs (North Shore) that may be experiencing a similar market?

Another factor to consider is that those $2M+ homes constitute a sizable portion of the Main Line (all of those huge estates, for example). Combined with the fact that millennials are having less children, do you see a use for those estates? Will the next generation of home-buyers actually buy these?

Apologies if my initial post appeared abrasive or troll-esque.
Right now, house prices in the 'burbs are rising faster than in the city, and a lot of us ascribe this to a post-COVID search for socially distant living space.

But I don't know if this is actually spreading to the top of the market. One reason why I think it might: the New Yorkers coming down here in search of houses with yards (or acreage) around them are largely from the upper income strata. Besides, the rich have shut their wallets when it comes to spending on just about everything else, so that leaves them more money to drop on a house.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:45 AM
 
Location: New York City
6,638 posts, read 5,844,295 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max00157 View Post
Hi! Sorry, I just made an account, and am not a troll; I attended college in the Main Line and actually love the area and am considering moving within the next 2-3 years!

That is an interesting point you bring up: that the suburbs are steady from a real estate standpoint. Do you see it remaining as such in the future? How is the Main Line different other suburbs in this regard? Are the Philadelphia suburbs economically stronger than other suburbs (North Shore) that may be experiencing a similar market?

Another factor to consider is that those $2M+ homes constitute a sizable portion of the Main Line (all of those huge estates, for example). Combined with the fact that millennials are having less children, do you see a use for those estates? Will the next generation of home-buyers actually buy these?

Apologies if my initial post appeared abrasive or troll-esque.
Well my apologies, my patience for new accounts and different questions is low since this forum is clogged with trolls and over the top homers.

Anyways to answer your questions...

1. Yes, most of the Philadelphia suburbs on the PA side are safe real estate investments, the value of land and homes are not very susceptible to booms and busts, compared to places like Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, etc.

The Main Line is the tony suburban region of the Philadelphia metro. and ranked nationally as a tony suburb. Its always been a bastion of old money, society, notable institutions, etc. serviced by the former Pennsylvania Railroad "Main Line" train route. The Main Line consists of a dozen or so towns, with some further West (farther from the city) that have attached themselves to the Main Line name over the years to increase attractiveness and home values.

Wikipedia summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Main_Line

Today, there are pockets of old money, but its largely affluent communities centered around Lancaster Ave (route 30). This corridor provides walk-ability, shopping, dining, etc. Then as you travel North and South of that corridor you enter into more spacious wooded lots with large homes. (and the public schools districts and private schools are among the best in the nation.)

2. The biggest difference of the Main Line compared to other suburban Philadelphia regions is the legacy and name attachment. The Main Line does contain some of the wealthiest communities nationally, but you can find dozens of other beautiful and desirable Philadelphia suburbs not on the Main Line.
Some examples: Newtown Square (which now attaches itself to the Main Line), Media, Upper Providence, Swarthmore, Wallingford, Chadds Ford, Glen Mills, West Chester, Blue Bell, Ft. Washington. Just to name a few!

3. Not sure how the Main Line compares to the North Shore. Overall, I believe the Philadelphia suburbs and Chicago suburbs are similar in demographics, home values and basic income stats, so I don't see any obvious negatives for either area. My only comment would be that the Philadelphia area is better poised to gain value as the years go on due to the central Northeastern corridor location.

4. Yes and no. The Philadelphia metro region is very large (over 6M people), there will always be some market share for super wealthy buyers looking for $2M+ homes. My family actually lives in proximity to a community on the Main Line under construction, and the homes are actively selling for close to $3M. They sit on very prestigious former estate land (based on the Philadelphia story with Katherine Hepburn).

Right now the most active suburban market price range is $500-$1M range, hence why we are seeing more townhouses and moderate sized single family homes as opposed to the over sized homes, but they are still being built in smaller numbers.

Yes, the Main Line is filled with large multi-million dollar estates, but there is definitely a variety of housing stock throughout each town. Anything from townhomes, ranchers, splits, colonials, mcmansions, estates, etc.

5. Millennials are a large population group, many successful with different wants and needs, I think we will see a resurgence in suburban living as Millennials age. The next generation (Z) is a little different. It is smaller, less college/money focused and a part of this new ultra progressive outlook on life. When its their turn to start purchasing expensive homes and condos... who knows what will happen. But that is not something you should worry about when looking for a new home, especially on the Main Line.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
7,059 posts, read 3,383,316 times
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Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
4. Yes and no. The Philadelphia metro region is very large (over 6M people), there will always be some market share for super wealthy buyers looking for $2M+ homes. My family actually lives in proximity to a community on the Main Line under construction, and the homes are actively selling for close to $3M. They sit on very prestigious former estate land (based on the Philadelphia story with Katherine Hepburn).
"Ardrossan <fill in the blank>".

The actual person who served as the basis for Katharine Hepburn's character was Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, whose family founded the brokerage that bore her surname (Janney Montgomery Scott) and whose patriarch put together Ardrossan Farm.

I have in my to-read pile an autobiographical history-mystery by Helen Hope's granddaughter, journalist Janny Scott, titled "The Beneficiary." One of the things she wants this book to do is to force us to take a hard look at the fortunes now being amassed in this second Gilded Age. I've only read the dust-jacket blurbs, but what I suspect she is going to say is that the huge fortunes actually f**k up the lives of the inheritors as much as they f**k up society.
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
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I think it's a fair and interesting point that large, Gilded Age (and earlier) mansions are just not seeing the demand they once were for a variety of reasons. It can't be that displays of wealth have gone out of style, since we all know that trend is as strong as it ever was.

But it does seem like younger and wealthier buyers are much more likely to prefer new/newer construction to avoid what is likely a fortune in maintaining and updating historic homes to modern tastes.

I don't know that "passe" would be the term I would use, since there is a special timelessness and incredible character to these historic structures allowing them to age very well (and they can actually be modernized in gorgeous ways; developers who do go through the effort to "flip" these mansions seem to get top dollar). However, the underlying desire for "all new and shiny" without the liabilities and complications of a major renovation is likely the biggest culprit for little-to-no appreciation in value.
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Old 06-29-2020, 12:02 PM
 
3,257 posts, read 3,286,485 times
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Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I think it's a fair and interesting point that large, Gilded Age (and earlier) mansions are just not seeing the demand they once were for a variety of reasons. It can't be that displays of wealth have gone out of style, since we all know that trend is as strong as it ever was.

But it does seem like younger and wealthier buyers are much more likely to prefer new/newer construction to avoid what is likely a fortune in maintaining and updating historic homes to modern tastes.

I don't know that "passe" would be the term I would use, since there is a special timelessness and incredible character to these historic structures allowing them to age very well (and they can actually be modernized in gorgeous ways; developers who do go through the effort to "flip" these mansions seem to get top dollar). However, the underlying desire for "all new and shiny" without the liabilities and complications of a major renovation is likely the biggest culprit for little-to-no appreciation in value.
As a Philly transplant, my understanding is the Main Line is one of America's oldest railroad suburban districts -- actually laid out by executives of the then new Pennsylvania railroad -- of which this was its main line connecting Philly to Pittsburgh. With the Gilded Age past, a number of large estates have been broken up; mansions demolished and smaller homes, often town-homes, have replaced them.
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Old Yesterday, 10:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TheProf View Post
As a Philly transplant, my understanding is the Main Line is one of America's oldest railroad suburban districts -- actually laid out by executives of the then new Pennsylvania railroad -- of which this was its main line connecting Philly to Pittsburgh. With the Gilded Age past, a number of large estates have been broken up; mansions demolished and smaller homes, often town-homes, have replaced them.
sort of right but mostly wrong
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