Philly apartment market boosted by long-term renters

Real estate brokers and landlords in Philadelphia are encountering a different breed of apartment renter than they have in the past.

While it was not uncommon for property mangers to sign tenants to short-term lease agreements in the past, a number of local landlords and real estate agents told the Philadelphia Inquirer they're seeing demand from former homeowners looking for long-term rentals. It's a shift that has been experienced in many other markets nationwide, but few have seen it shift as dramatically as it has in Philadelphia. John Featherman of Prudential Fox & Roach told the paper that he has signed nearly 200 rental agreements this year alone, a personal record.

"In the past, it's almost always been a temporary job or assignment," Featherman said of local rental demand. These days, he told the paper, he receives demand from "buyers who have sold their homes or who have moved from other cities and plan to sell their home."

Despite increasing demand for apartments, the report says that for many would-be homebuyers, renting still provides a temporary pit stop until they can buy a home in the future.

Other reports reinforce that sentiment. This summer, Relocation.com released a survey showing that of the 60 percent of survey respondents that rented, 24 percent were doing so temporarily while waiting to buy a home.