Logan: A Bumpy Ride for Real Estate
If the real estate market was constructed into a roller coaster ride, its passengers would be in for a free-falling ride of dropping down steep hills with occasional peaks of climbing higher, only to go steeper again. With many spiraling twists, tugs and turns, the economy is still battling what seems like an impossible roller coaster ride to get off. The neighborhood of Logan is a place that is like the rest of the country, plagued by the economy but remains optimistic for the future.
Like many other neighborhoods in the Philadelphia region, Logan has its share of abandoned houses and foreclosures. The rectangular grid of traditional row home houses may not exactly send a warm welcome to new homebuyers. North Broad Street has been a real estate in itself, full of for sale signs and advertisements for property clean-up companies that may be needed for houses that need to be emptied. It is impossible to stroll down each block without wondering why there are so many for sale signs up in the front yards of row homes that have stood in the community for decades. Although crime rate is active in the neighborhood, it may be an ideal place for some. There are a small number of parks, schools and convenient stores all within walking distance to most residential properties.
As far as selling houses in the community, sales are not exactly “booming.” John Melvin, an Exclusive Agent for AllState, has worked in the neighborhood for 13 years and has been a witness to the ups and downs in the vicinity. When Melvin is not selling insurance to local homeowners, he is working at his own auto tag business that is also located in the neighborhood. Fortunately for Melvin, traffic has been steadily coming into his business. He owns one of the few businesses that sell insurance in the area.
Although many businesses took a hard hit, Melvin explained that the real estate market in Logan has stayed fairly neutral throughout the years. “Most of my clients that come to me are older and had bought their houses in the 70s and 80s. Younger people do not want to live around here. Most residents in the neighborhood that have lived here for decades wish to stay so therefore, there is not much to buy,” Melvin explained.
According to Trulia.com, depending on the property value, homes in Logan ranged anywhere from $15,000 to $120,000 with an average price of $79,000. Surprisingly enough, Logan has seen an increase in their average selling price over the last decade. According to blockshopper.com, in 2001, the median sale price for buying a home in Logan was roughly $30,000. Although it has been a bumpy ride for real estate, the average price gradually has risen throughout a ten year period. The average price to buy a home is currently $42,475 with a foreclosure percent of 4.5. Foreclosure reached the highest in 2003 when the percent had risen to 25.3. The numbers for rise and fall for Logan real estate has increased and decreased over the years and will potentially keep rising. This data shows a yo-yo effect in the neighborhood’s real estate market.
Pat Valeno, a highly recommended realtor who has worked in Philadelphia real estate for roughly 18 years also agreed that Logan has been idle in the real estate market. “Most people looking to buy homes in Philadelphia do not exactly have Logan in-mind,” Valeno said. Valeno explained that this is because home buyers would rather migrate to areas such as South Philadelphia because they have more activity and a younger demographic. “More people are looking to rent houses in that area are looking for residences that have been flipped,” Valeno said.Valeno admitted that she has not had much traffic in Logan for a long time now.
Although the real estate market has been down, Quality Real Estate, a business on Broad Street has seen steady traffic. Toby Biddle, the owner of Quality Real Estate, specializes in buying houses in the area and completely refurnishing them before selling or renting out to buyers. People who are moving into the area seem to be more interested in renting flipped houses that have been completely refurnished and redone from the inside out.
Rental prices vary depending on the number of bedrooms. According to hotpads.com, a median price for one month’s rent in Logan was $675 including utilities. In 2009, city-data.com recorded that the average price for renters was $619 monthly while the average price in the entire Philadelphia region was $666. The average prices in Logan and Philadelphia were compared, revealing that every year Logan fell behind in housing prices. Recent data shows that averages are still lower than Philadelphia’s as a whole, but Logan has still been seeing an increase in average profits.
Although sales are inactive and home buyers are not exactly swarming the area, there is still hope in the future for Logan real estate. “There have been many more local board meetings about real estate in the area,” said Melvin. “Ten years from now, Logan may or may not be the same, hopefully by then it may be developed into a higher quality area.”
With local organizations fighting to restore the area, Logan may have some hope after all. Donations are also welcome by anyone who would like to assist in improving the community.
Local shop owners and real estate agents can only hope for the best for the future of the Logan district. Although visitors may be unsure of the rectangular-shaped town with long narrow streets, there are still the residents that call Logan home. Their way of keeping the area preserved can be appreciated by many, as so many other establishments have been so quickly to change.