Spencer Yablon, a senior vice president at CBRE who leads a multifamily capital markets team encompassing Philadelphia, agreed with the assessment: “We see interest from everywhere,” he said. “The nuance is that some of that capital that’s first time to Philadelphia needs to really understand the Philadelphia story.”
Historically, Philly is steady-as-she-goes economically
Yablon described the city’s historical consistency in terms of its economy: “Philly has always been, from an investment standpoint, kind of a steady-as-she-goes marketplace. We don’t have big boom and bust cycles here. If you look at how we performed in the Great Recession through COVID, Philly does quite well. Maybe we’re not the sexiest market when everything’s white hot and interest rates are plummeting and fundamentals are great everywhere, and you want to be in the Sunshine State or somewhere else. But Philly has always been kind of a predictable, steady, safe place for capital.”
Beyond its financial bona fides, there’s other dynamics adding to the city’s appeal: “And as it relates to a place to live, just unbelievable historical and cultural amenities, great nightlife and a phenomenal cost-of-living,” Yablon noted.
Investment funds start flowing in
Adelman has noticed some New York money coming in as investors become more bullish on the nearby city, especially in multifamily transactions. “The infamous New York capital that wants to come down here and buy stuff up because they think it’s on sale,” he described, “we love those kind of buyers. So I think it’s really positioning itself as a place that’s interesting.”
Yet the growing influx of investment dollars is a mix of domestic and foreign, Yablon noted: “It’s actually a combination, I think, of all of that,” he said. “We’ve always had New York capital coming to Philadelphia and they’ve kind of looked at us as a borough almost of New York,” he added, noting the reason for that is that the city is a mere 90 minutes down the turnpike. “But we see capital from all over the country and frankly, foreign capital. We’ve had interest and done deals over the last few years with capital from the Middle East, from Asia, from Europe, Canada, South America. We sold an asset right here in University City to South American Capital about two years ago. So we see interest from everywhere.