Philadelphia metro area median home price: $219,600.
"Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods," says Mike McCann, director on the executive board of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors.
The typical $220,000 buyer is a first-time homeowner, he says. And "they have plenty of choices. They can go from Center City, in the historic district where there are million-dollar houses, to the far northeast, where there are driveways, wider streets and street parking."
Asking price: $224,900.
A new two-bedroom condo in Glen Mills.
Metro median price: : $219,600 (down 4.9 percent from one year earlier).*
- 2 bedroom, 2 bathrooms.
- 1,219 square feet.
- Covered parking.
- 9-foot ceilings.
- Kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances.
- In-unit laundry room with washer and dryer.
Listed by: Realty Executives (West Chester).
In the historic district, that money will fetch a studio or one-bedroom condo with 600 to 1,000 square feet in a vintage building that likely doesn't have an elevator, he says. Or a buyer can pick up a 50- to 120-year-old row house in one of the outlying neighborhoods.
In the suburbs, purchasing power varies widely with the area, says Marilou Buffum, past president of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors.
And don't count on the old rule of "the farther out you go, the less expensive it is" to hold true for the Philadelphia suburbs, she says. In places like Chester and Montgomery counties, "it gets more expensive."
*Source: National Association of Realtors, fall 2011.