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Philadelphia Real Estate Market Booming Despite Coronavirus Pandemic, Huge Unemployment Rates

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia is grappling with a huge unemployment rate, but despite that and the coronavirus pandemic, the city's real estate market is not just rebounding -- it's booming.

Fiances Andrew Harmen and Evan Garbayo are moving into their newly purchased house Wednesday. They were going to spend $40,000 on a big wedding, but with both of them working from home, they instead decided to use the money to put a deposit down on a house in Manayunk.

"Originally had the Lucy on Broad booked this November," Garbayo said.

"We starting thinking, 'OK, is a big wedding or a wedding in a pandemic something we want?' Then we started realizing being in a 700-foot apartment, maybe we need some space," Harmon said.

They're not alone. Greg Kravitz with OCF Realty says his phone has been ringing off the hook with buyers wanting to take advantage of Philadelphia's tax abatement program before it begins to phase out at the end of the year.

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"That's going to make it super valuable, not just in terms of affordability for your first 10 years of ownership, but if you go to resell it in five years, you'll have the ability to sell it with five full years on the abatement," Kravitz said.

Kravitz also says many recent clients in Philly have been New Yorkers, now working from home and looking for more space in a city at less of an expense. This Philadelphia couple even lost in a bidding war with a New Yorker.

"While it didn't work out for that home, we're in a great home now and we're happy to have people coming into Philly and see what a great city it is," Zachary Kimmel, of Manayunk, said.

Philadelphia's low housing supply is also making buying more competitive. The median number of days on the market in April was 16, a 10-year low, according to Bright MLS.

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