Exploring Housing Trends in Chester County

If home is where the heart is, the heart of Chester County housing these days is multifamily homes, particularly apartments.

There were nearly 3,000 multifamily units proposed in 2016, which was an increase of approximately 1,000 since 2015. In particular, there was a drastic increase in the apartment development proposals over the past year. There were 2,231 apartment units proposed in 2016 compared to 1,150 in 2015. 

“We’re seeing a trend in more rental units than we’ve seen in the past,” said Carol Stauffer, director of the Chester County Planning Commission’s Infrastructure and Plan Review Division.

Many of the multifamily proposals are generally located in employment centers and older towns throughout Chester County, including East Whiteland, West Whiteland, East Brandywine, Upper Uwchlan, East Vincent, Kennett and West Goshen townships. There were also several multifamily proposals in the boroughs of Phoenixville, Downingtown and Oxford, according to Paul Farkas, a senior review planner at the Planning Commission.

The 10 largest official plan submissions reviewed by the Planning Commission in 2016 proposed at least 200 multifamily residential lots/units and/or 200,000 square feet of non-residential structural square footage; six of these plan submissions proposed at least 200 apartment units, according to Farkas.

“The county has seen an extensive number of apartments in our growth areas, particularly in our employment centers and older towns,” said Planning Commission Executive Director Brian O’Leary. “This trend supports the goals and vision of Landscapes2.”

Since 2005, the number of proposed multifamily residential lots/units in Chester County has exceeded the number of proposed single-family lots.

To check out a graphic of Chester County development trends, click here.

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