New report shows 20-year high in Chester County home building – Daily Local

WEST CHESTER – A new report from the Chester County Planning Commission shows that more homes were built in the county in 2021 than any year since 2001, and growth was largely driven by the construction of apartments.

The report also says that despite the surge in prices, more homes have been sold than in any year since 2005.

“The number of units built and sold and the prices at which they have been sold are staggering, but not surprising,” Chester County Commissioners Chairperson Marian Moskowitz said. “People and jobs continue to move to our county because it’s a special place to live and work. This means that the private market continues to build, especially apartments in developed suburban growth centers like Exton, West Chester and along the 202 route corridor, to meet demand.

“The only downside to this otherwise positive report is that we are still not producing enough low-income housing. This issue – strategies for accessible and affordable housing – is an even higher priority for us now.

A total of 3,743 houses were built in 2021, with apartments accounting for 1,963 of that total. This figure represents more than three times the number of apartments built the previous year. Both new and existing home sales are up more than 17% from 2020 figures.

The median home sale price continued to rise, reaching $420,000 in 2021. The 2021 median home sale price was the highest, adjusted for inflation, since the county began collecting data on housing. Only 15% of homes sold in the county last year were considered “affordably priced” under $250,000.

“While this report clearly indicates that the demand for living in Chester County is driving both the apartment market and home sales, it also reflects the fact that our current housing stock does not provide sufficient diversity of ‘options,’ Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell said. “We need to encourage opportunities for first-time buyers and homes close to public transport.”

The median sale price of single units jumped about 16% to $475,000 in 2021, while the median sale price of townhouses and semi-detached homes also increased significantly, rising nearly 18% for reach $369,000.

“We know the pandemic has changed many people’s minds about the style of home they wanted, and what they wanted was more space, especially when they had to or chose to work at home,” added Chester County Commissioner Michelle Kichline. “It helps explain the huge demand for traditional single-family homes, and now we’re seeing this dramatic increase in larger apartments with all the amenities. Although values ​​are rising, we have areas in the county where families can still find a moderately priced house.

According to the report, sales of lower cost homes occurred largely in the Phoenixville, East Goshen, Coatesville and Downingtown/Exton areas. The most expensive sales took place mainly in Tredyffrin, Easttown and Willistown. Tredyffrin Township recorded the widest range of home sales prices for the second year in a row.

Chester County Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary, whose department compiles the annual housing report, expects this building and sales trend to continue through 2022.

“We could start to see activity slow down a bit in 2023, especially with the cost of construction rising,” he said. “Developing more affordable housing for low-income households remains a priority for the county. The Planning Commission is considering ideas with a clear imperative from Commissioners Moskowitz, Maxwell and Kichline that we significantly increase our offering in this category.

Data for this report is provided by the Chester County Assessment Office. Find the full report at www.chescoplanning.org/Housing/HousingReport-21.cfm.