The Cost of Housing Has Skyrocketed in Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD

The rising cost of shelter has been one of the major components of the current surge in inflation that began around the middle of 2021. According to the recent consumer price index summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans were paying 8.2% more to keep a roof over their heads compared to March last year.

Only transportation services, electricity, and food prices have increased at a higher rate over the same 12-month period, well over the 5% increase in the all items CPI — a list that includes a 17% decrease in gasoline prices, an 11% decline in used car and truck prices, a 3% increase in apparel prices, and a nearly 4% rise in the prices of medical commodities, such as over-the-counter and prescription drugs and medical equipment and supplies. (These are the prices that spiked the most compared to this time last year.)

The Wall Street Journal reported in April that local home prices and rental costs are heavily influenced by migration patterns, and as Americans relocate from high-cost metropolitan areas like Los Angeles and New York to lower-cost destinations like Tampa and Dallas, they bring up housing inflation.

According to CPI data, the cost of housing in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area , which spans parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, is up 9.2% compared to last year, the ninth largest increase of the 23 metro areas included in the BLS analysis.

As of 2021, the most recent year of available data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the median home value in the metro area was $300,300, and the median gross monthly rent was $1,258, the 102nd and 65th highest, respectively, of all 386 U.S. metro areas.

Metro area-level housing CPI is for February 2023 and year-over-year change was calculated by comparing to February 2022.

RankMetro areaHousing cost increase, YoY (%)Median gross rent, 2021 ($)Median home value, 2021 ($)1Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL17.21,519362,5002Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ16.11,384374,1003Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL15.11,286279,6004Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA12.11,370300,0005Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA111,730638,4006San Diego-Carlsbad, CA10.61,908722,2006Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX10.61,304294,9008Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX9.61,190252,3009Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD9.21,258300,30010Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA8.71,552453,000

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