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September 27, 2016

Rising home prices, quick sales – Philly’s in a sellers’ market (Mark’s Two Cents on

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,General Real Estate,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 9:54 am

Alan J. Heavens,’s Real estate writer says, “The city of Philadelphia is officially a sellers’ real estate market, as a continued shortage of inventory has pushed up prices for properties listed for sale.”

Economist Kevin Gillen, senior research fellow at Drexel University’s Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation, said the second quarter of 2016, which ended June 30, saw median prices 13 percent higher than April-through-June 2015.

…Gillen isn’t exactly sure why homeowners aren’t rushing to list their houses, but Mark Wade, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors, cites several factors.

Mostly, it is “because many buyers in town over the last few decades have been empty nesters who believe they have made their final move and don’t need to downsize or adjust their living quarters to match their future needs,” Wade said.

The “flip side of rising house prices is decreased housing affordability,” Gillen said.

“Prices are now rising faster than household incomes, which implies that home buyers must now sacrifice a greater portion of their wealth to buy a home than they would otherwise, or else must defer the purchase of a home altogether,” he said.

Click here to read the full article on

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors ~ 215.521.1523

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September 21, 2016

Top Ten Philly Condos

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 10:41 am

In terms of value retention, resale ability and livability…Here are my latest top ten picks:

Waterfront Square

1) 1706 Rittenhouse at 1706 Rittenhouse St. – – There can be little doubt that the building shines in terms of value growth and demand. The highest of high end here in Center City. Buyers line up for these units- Who wouldn’t want to live at 1706 ??

2) Kahn Park Place at 1119-25 Pine St.– Parking, roof decks and nice interior space…at prices that I think are undervalued. Homerun! Location is key here as well. Interior condition drives the wide range of values here.

3) Washington Square West Condos on the 12xx Block of South St. – Solid investments in a high growth area. Oh, and all have parking and two bedrooms! You can’t beat these simple yet value driven condos. Boom!

4) St. James Court in Society Hill – 40 years old condos with interiors that clearly stand the test of time. Undervalued and best deals in the 19106 zip code. Most units are off street and quiet. Interior courtyard is picture perfect. You can’t beat the prices in this segment in my opinion.

5) The Coronado at 2201 Chestnut St.– Improvements to the building make the investment here a solid one in terms of value growth. And in the 19103 zip code to boot.

6) The Lenox at 250 S. 13th St.– Not unlike 2201 Chestnut Street in the fact that it is a pre-war styled condo building that has undergone many recent upgrades and improvements. Since the Parker across the street closed- are values poised for a significant bounce upwards? Probably.

7) Center City One at 1326 Spruce St. – If I had millions of dollars, I would probably spend most of them inside this building if I wanted to make money.
Try to beat the location and the floor plan of the two bed, two bath units.
No supply here.

8) The Philadelphian at 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. – Values for the larger units bounced higher and faster than any other segment in Center City. Many reasons which can be attributed to the association…and lack of supply didn’t hurt either.

9) Low Rise Condos in 19103 and 19107– Perpetual demand leads to a shortened “days on market” for many in this segment. Solid purchases and solid returns. And those near Jefferson and U of Penn have a double good whammy- which is huge rent-ability.

10) 2200 Arch St. Condos at 2200 Arch St. – Probably the quickest sales in the loft like segment here in town. Parking, close to jogging trail and in the 19103 zip code. This place is firing on all cylinders.

Honorable Mention:  The Reef Building at WaterFront Square 901 N. Penn St. – Just about 6 units remain and the values are climbing faster than most other buildings around town. Expect another bump in values when the building completely sells out. Philadelphian’s are warming to the idea of living in this lovely gated community. Though I am biased…We own and live here.

Mark Wade
BHHS Fox & Roach Realtors
215.521.1523 |

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September 17, 2016

Some Basics on Buying a Condo (Read Mark’s Two Cents on

Filed under: For Buyers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 8:34 pm

“Once you decide on a location, the next step in your search for housing is determining whether to rent or buy.” Real Estate Writer, Alan J. Heavens then said, “If you decide to buy, the next question is what.  A growing number of Americans are choosing condominiums, especially in urban areas.”

Mark Wade, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach Realtors in Center City, said there are three main reasons buyers give when opting to buy a condominium: “one-level living – absence of stairs; a lack of maintenance requirements; and the security of a 24-hour front doorman.”


“Many younger buyers are attracted to condos because they are so consumed with their careers that they simply don’t have the time or energy for the needs of a single-family home,” he said.

Many empty-nesters are looking to rid themselves of the upkeep that a larger single-family home may require, Wade said.

“The trade-off between a single-family home and a condo is usually location and size,” he said.

Condo living affords buyers the opportunity “to lose up to a few thousand square feet of unused, unwanted space, or perhaps three unused bedrooms – quite a weight lifted for those looking to simplify their lives.”

Click here to read the full article on

Mark Wade
HHS Fox & Roach Realtors

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December 29, 2014

More Super Duper Condo Comp Data

Click the LINKS above for Full details
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February 25, 2013

Philly Condo Buyers- Who Are They?

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,Of Interest to Buyers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 11:12 am

Of course I get tons and tons of folks emailing me looking to move into a condo in Center City…no surprise there. But you might be surprised by who is actually buying in town. Here are some common groups of buyers who I see buying condos in Center City.  Certainly others exist, but this is a generalization of what I see:

1) The Returnees – Grew up in Philly, moved elsewhere, and now returning. Being close to friends and family is often the draw.
2) The Empty Nesters- Shedding themselves of 75,000 pounds of unused house. They can often be very happy happy buyers who are starting a new chapter in their lives. I enjoy working with and watching them get excited for a move into town.
3) The Weekend Warriors- They have done the shore, now they spend their weekends in town. Much more common than you think.
4) The Kids Who Have Parents Who Have $$ – Very common. Very.
5) The Transferee- Maybe came to town via a promotion- and wants to be close to work. Moving to town wasn’t on the radar. Doesn’t matter- he or she is here now.
6) The Growing Families- It used to be that young adults would get married , and get a dog, two kids, a station wagon, and BOOM- off to suburbia they went. No longer the case. They now often represent our move up buyers in Center City.
7) The Investors- Who knew that the city is the place to be, and that their investment will provide a handsome return year after year after year. Unless say Univ. of Penn moves to say the moon…a condo may easily be a magnet for a tenant.

8) The First Timers- The good ole reliable first time buyer. The backbone of the Center City condo market- always has been, probably always will be.


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September 28, 2012

The Dying Art of Open Houses

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:58 pm

Remember the olden days when the Sunday paper would arrive and you would get our your red felt tipped marker, then circle the open houses you wanted to see?

That was so 1997….

Those days are all but gone- having been replaced by the advances in internet marketing for Philly condos. Additionally, more and more buildings around Center City are forbidding agents to hold Open Houses- ever.

It is said in Real Estate circles that open houses are NOT for sellers- they are for agents trying to pick up buyers. To a degree, I agree. More so with the fact that videos, virtual tours, podcasts, blogs, multiple photos, etc are easily found with a quick Google search. And most Realtors’ websites can give you a lot more than you can learn at an open house- think neighborhood stats, crime reports, etc. not to mention the gossip and dirt you can pick up on your neighbors house.

If someone is seriously in the market for a condo, they are going to view your listing if they are interested- Open House or not.

I usually find that Open Houses tend to cut down on the weekly traffic- the more people who see it at an open, the less weekly appointments one will find in terms of buyer traffic.

And of course, we are all aware that Open Houses usually beget nosey neighbors, passersby, and the like.

With overall traffic down on Open Houses over the past decade (in my experience)- how long before Open houses will go the way of print advertising for Real Estate?

Probably not long.

FYI-Center City Open Houses are usually ONE hour only- Get in, then get out. Suburban agents can spend 3-4 hours at one open house. How utterly boring. I think I’d rather drink bathwater than to sit in a house on a Sunday for four hours.

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106


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September 21, 2012

8 Ways to Piss off a Buyer

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Sellers,Of Interest To Sellers,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:48 pm

The market generally still favors buyers, in my opinion, and has since 2007 or so. No big surprise there. Since it is overall still a buyer’s market (that fact is changing, I believe), I think it’s best not to piss off a buyer who can be described as “Ready, Willing, and Able”. Pissing a buyer off who is under agreement on your Philadelphia condo can seriously backfire, and cost you more in the long run. I have been selling condos for 23 years in this town, and I see it ALL the freakin’ time. So sellers, listen up…..

1) Fail to disclose the condition of your condo.
If  say, an outlet doesn’t work, Disclose it.  Ditto for say the leak in the kitchen faucet. You may end up being sorry if you don’t disclose all you know.  Trust me…not doing so honestly can be quite costly and time consuming.

2) Neglect to tell buyer of impending assessments-
They can be found in the condo docs- usually in the budget section. You gotta’ fess up about this. Talk of an assessment may not be  the same as  an assessment that has been voted on, approved, and is being collected.  Talking to a Real Estate lawyer would be a good idea here if unclear.

3) Nit-pick every detail of their offer.
Check your ego at the door, swallow your pride, and move forward.  I see a TON of sellers who like to moan about the most miniscule BS- Remember, this is a business transaction…nothing here is personal.  Perhaps best if you just “dummy up” and don’t let the little things become HUGE.

4) Insisting on having the last word
Akin to # 3 above, don’t nickle and dime the crap out of a buyer.  If buyer says their highest and best is say $535,500, and you come back with $535, 600, I would suggest you are doing more harm than good for yourself. Remember, they still have the home inspection to knock you over the head with.  A little sugar can help a lot.  Just smile.  Be the best actor you can be.  You can thank me at the closing table for this advise. Or buy me a Martini. You pick.

5) Leave  a Pig Sty  for the buyers walk-through
Sure, the contract says that you need to leave the condo in “Broom Swept Clean” condition upon exiting/moving out. You want to put a smile on the buyers face? Have your condo professionally cleaned. It is one heck of a nice thank you. And can put the buyer in a good mood for closing.  Priceless!

6)  Don’t complete Punch Lists per home inspection
This is fabulous. Don’t be a goof. Do what you say you are going to do. And do it prior to settlement. No buyer wants to inherit your problem(s).   This is one sure way to irk the sh*t out of a buyer.  Urg…

7) Not allowing them to come in and measure
Nothing in the contract says you have to, but if you don’t , the  buyer will think you are hiding something. Keep an open door policy without being taken advantage of, when the buyer wants to revisit to measure.

8)  Remove the blinds  or surreptitiously replace the dishwasher with a cheaper model prior to settlement and after the home goes under agreement.
This should go without saying but sometimes does need to be said. Read your contract. Then read it again. You can’t be pulling those hi-jinks. I know 99.9% of my sellers would never ever dream of such a thing….

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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September 11, 2012

Rising Values in Center City 2012

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 12:42 pm

A LOT of  the recent talk in Center City Real Estate circles has been about the number of multiple offers on various parcels, and how some places are sitting on the market for a only a week, and being sold in short order. This is clearly a change from the previous four years. Maybe not be true in all segments, but certainly becoming more and more common this year.

I think what most buyers in the Philadelphia Real Estate market have to come to terms with is that they may need to make their offer as attractive as possible on those homes that are in short supply, and in heavy demand.  Even a gradual shift from a buyers market to a sellers market is difficult for buyers to grasp. Those in the know are going to fare much better than those who perhaps think they can come in at super low offers like perhaps that might have done in 2009.

As demand increases, and supply decreases, we will see the gradual escalation of values here in town. But remember, Philadelphia Real Estate values generally don’t skyrocket…they meander up or down depending upon market conditions. This certainly lends  strength to the fact that
“All in All”, the Philadelphia housing market is relatively stable…relatively speaking.

We have not seen the peaks that perhaps NYC, Miami, or parts of Southern California have seen over the years, and in turn, we are not seeing the loss in value as many other big cities have seen over the years.

Be happy you live in Philadelphia.

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox and Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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July 26, 2012

WHO is kickin’ butt in Center City?

Filed under: For Buyers,For Sellers,General Real Estate,Real Estate: Condominiums,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 2:06 pm

Check it  out…

Residential Sales in 19146, 19147, 19107, 19106, 19102, 19103, & 19130 – Jan 1-July 15, 2012

Thanks to all for sending me their friends and family looking to buy and sell in town. Much Appreciated!

The Biggest Cheerleader for Condo Living in Center City,
Mark Wade
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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July 17, 2012

Two New Big Trends in The Center City Condo Market

Filed under: Center City Real Estate,For Buyers,For Sellers,State of Marketplace — Center City Philadelphia Real Estate Agent @ 1:19 pm

1) The Move-Up Buyer

Ten years ago, these younger Center City folks with growing families would have a child or two, and BOOM- they were destined for the ‘burbs. Not always the case any longer as Center City Condos become more “Kid Friendly” and popular with the younger family set. These buyers tend to already live in town, and simply move into larger quarters, while remaining inside the downtown area.

2) The Out -of -Towners

Becoming much more common than most current Center City owners are aware. These buyers are looking for an urban weekend place. Generally empty nester folks who have done the beach and the burbs, and are now excited about buying their second or third home in Center City. Space is usually not a huge issue for many of these buyers, but walk-ability ranks very high on their list of priorities.  I also find that many gravitate towards less than “full service” buildings as they look to avoid full service condo fees.  And usually (I am generalizing here) will swing more towards hip and groovy interiors.

Mark Wade
Prudential Fox And Roach Realtors
530 Walnut St. #260 Phila., PA 19106

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