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Philly is not one of the best cities in the U.S. to upgrade from a condo to a house. Photo: Pixabay.

What cities are the best in the U.S. to upgrade from a condo to a house?

The report from Point2 advises buyers on which of the two options is the best investment.

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A recently published study from Point2, "Moving On Up: From Condo to House in the 200 Largest U.S. Cities," revealed the price gap between condos and single-family homes in the largest 200 cities in the U.S. and the costs to make the transition.

“The spread of work-from-home arrangements amplified homeowners’ desire to upsize, with American condo-dwellers rethinking their space, as well as their proximity to neighbors. But is this attainable? Can condo owners even dream about upsizing to a detached home in the same city?” asked Point2.

Although values vary between states and cities, the study noted that upgrading from a condo to a single-family home is very possible, and even cost-effective, in 20 of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., while houses are trading for more than double, or almost triple, the average price of condominiums in other cities.

What's the picture in PA?

“To see what cities make upsizing from condo to house easier and where Pennsylvania cities stand, we looked at the median household income and the median price for the two property types. We then correlated the price difference with the yearly median income to find out how many years’ worth of income it would take to close the price gap between a condo and a house,” explained Point2.

The findings:

  • Pittsburgh is among the top 20 central U.S. cities where houses are cheaper than condos. Specifically, single-family homes there are 7% cheaper, which translates to a net difference of $15,000.
  • Expanding in Philadelphia is challenging, with a price difference to income ratio of 1.2, meaning it would take a little over a year of income to match the price difference when going from a condo to a single-family home.
  • Homes also make up the vast majority of homes for sale in Pittsburgh (83% of listings), unlike Philadelphia, where single-family homes make up just 6% of available listings.

Get to know the study

Point2's studies are based on internal data, public records, government sources, online research, and other trusted third-party agencies.

The 200 largest cities in the United States by population were determined using data from the 2021 Census estimates, and the median income value.

To determine how easy it would be to move from a condo to a home in the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the difference between the median prices of these two types of properties was calculated. The researchers then calculated the relationship between this difference and the local median annual income.

The report took into account the median price of condominium and home units sold in the 200 largest cities — 150 of which are core cities within their metropolitan areas, and 50 that are not major cities, defined in the study as ‘secondaries.’

To see the full study click here.

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