Hey Philadelphia, what about Southwark?

5 Replies

Still looking for my perfect first investment. 

There seem to be some good deals in that area, but some of the stats are making me nervous. Neighborhood Scout says the area I'm looking at, 5th St/Mifflin, has a high childhood poverty rate and a vacancy rate of over 11%. Apart from that, it seems pretty dreamy. Any thoughts? 

Hi Mike,

Southwark is an old district description for the 19147 and 19148 zip codes in South Philly.  I am not sure when that area description was dropped, but this area now encompasses neighborhoods such as Queen Village, Bella Vista, etc.  I believe that 5th and Mifflin is in the Dickinson Narrows or Wharton neighborhoods.

As far as the child poverty rate, Philadelphia has one of the highest poverty  rates, standing at 22.10 in the nation according to the last census report.  Poverty is a problem for Philadelphia and to be honest, I don't see much effort on the part of our city government to change this.  I say, this to say that poverty is not just a 'Southwark' problem, it is a city wide problem. 

Lastly, I find it hard to believe that the vacacy rate is this area to be as high as 11%.  Especially in the 19147 zip code which is a high to moderate income

Hi Mike,

Southwark is an old district name for the 19147 and 19148 zip codes in South Philly.  I don't know when this name was dropped, but Queen Village, Bella Vista, Pennsport, etc., neighborhood destinations have taken the place of Southwark.  I believe 5th and Mifflin is in the Dickinson Narrows or Wharton neighborhood to be specific.

As far as the poverty rate, Philadelphia has one of the highest poverty rates, standing at 12.2, in the nation.  Sadly, it does not appear that our local government here in Philadelphia has done much to address this.  Poverty is not just a 'Southwark' problem, it is a city wide problem.

Lastly, I have a hard time believing that this area has such a high vacancy rate.  While there are still some blue collar, lower wage earners sprinkled thorough these neighborhoods, this is a high to moderate income level community.  I would suggest double checking your information.

Hi, If you can, Wilmington Delaware is not too far from Philadelphia. I recommend looking down that road, although it's another state I think you're going to find some good deals. Property taxes seem to be a lot lower than what Philadelphia could offer you as well. You still have to be careful in some of those areas but I assure you that you're going to be astonished on what you can purchase. Try zip code 19802 and 19801... Good luck!

Thanks Paulette. Super helpful as usual. I don't remember where I got hold of Southwark anyway. Must be in someone's listings.  

I wondered about that vacancy rate. Neighborhood Scout gives scary vacancy rates for a lot of places. 15% for Germantown for instance. It's a variable I hadn't really considered because I didn't realize the spread was so wide. 

Thanks for the tip on Wilmington, Damian. 

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