"I have sold more homes this year within the first day or two or three that it goes on the market because there is such a shortage. If something shows nicely and is priced right, there will be multiple bids, and it will sell right away," said Mike McCann, a real estate agent with Fox & Roach.
Closed sales are up just 2.4 percent from a year ago, and signed contracts are down 13 percent. Homes are also selling nearly 5 percent faster than a year ago. Demand is coming from what McCann calls "meds and eds" — growing demand from the city's many hospitals and universities.
After falling in the last decade, Philadelphia's population has rebounded since 2010, putting ever more pressure on housing. Comcast, owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com, is building a second tower in the city, which is creating spinoff jobs in the downtown, especially for young millennials. Downsizing baby boomers are also adding to Philadelphia's new residents.