8A — January 2023 — Economic Development Spotlight — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal
E conomic D evelopment By Aaron Gantz, GRCA Your Money Goes Further in Greater Reading
ocation drives where people want to live, work and grow a business. We
companies can continue to grow because its population is grow- ing. As of 2020, the City of Reading is the fourth largest city in Pennsylvania. It is also one of the youngest and most diverse cities in the state — the median age is 30 and the grow- ing Latino population accounts for nearly 70% of the popula- tion. The community at large continues to experience growth and population migration from the New York/New Jersey metro areas because the area offers a high quality of life, opportunity jobs and a lower cost of living. How do we know the cost
of living is lower in Greater Reading? The Greater Read- ing Chamber Alliance (GRCA) participates in collection of lo- cal data for the Cost of Living Index (COLI) compiled on a quarterly basis by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). C2ER uses more than 60 carefully select- ed goods and services across six weighted categories — each of which contribute to the composite index or the area’s cost of living number. 1. Groceries - 13.4% 2. Housing – 28.0% 3. Utilities – 10.3% 4. Transportation – 11.1% 5. Healthcare – 4.0% 6. Miscellaneous good and services – 32.8% The cost of housing is a sig- nificant portion of index calcu - lation, and while we are seeing price increases nationally, the Greater Reading median household price remains lower than neighboring metropoli- tan areas. Median Home Price • Reading, PA: $265,000 • Philadelphia, PA: $339,450 • Allentown, PA: $359,900 • Baltimore, MD: $352,495 • Washington, D.C.: 572,800 • New York, NY-NJ: $699,000 Source: Realtor.com All of this data adds up and as a result, Greater Reading has earned top spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Places to Live 2022-23 rankings. • #1 Hottest Housing Market in Pennsylvania • Top 100 Best Places to Live in the United States • Top 8 Best Places to Live in Pennsylvania • Top 10 Best Places to Retire in the United States • Top 25 Safest Places to Live in the United States This data allows both people and businesses to make in- formed decisions about their next steps. We know the cost of living is critical for people making deci- sions on where to live and for businesses making decisions on where to grow and locate. These costs affect people’s quality of life and business’ bottom lines. Your money goes further in Greater Reading. Visit MeetGreaterReading. org to learn more about living and doing business in Greater Reading, Pennsylvania. Aaron Gantz is senior director of economic de- velopment at GRCA. MAREJ
Greater Reading is a community where diversity is one of our greatest assets — in industry, in people, in housing and in cultural amenities.
know Great- er Reading, PA has a great north- east U.S. lo- cation, but there is a bigger story to tell than a place on a
Energy storage, customized logistics solutions, world-re- nowned gourmet desserts and chocolates —what do they have in common? They are all made and headquartered in Greater Reading. This diverse base of growing companies provides sta- bility to the local economy. The continued stability of the area’s largest industry sector, manu-
facturing, is evidenced in the industry’s large contribution to the County’s GDP at over $3.9B. Key industries in Greater Reading: • Manufacturing • Healthcare • Agriculture • Hospitality • Construction Greater Reading’s diverse
map. Greater Reading is a community where diversity is one of our greatest assets — in industry, in people, in housing and in cultural amenities.
RANKS! Greater Reading • R anked No. 11 in Hottest Housing Markets in the U.S. and No. 1 in Pennsylvania by HomeArea.com.
• Ranked in the Top 100 Best Places to Live in the U.S. and #4 in Pennsylvania by U.S. News. • Ranked in the Top 25 Safest Places to Live in the U.S. by U.S. News. • R anked No. 10 Best Places to Retire in the U.S. by U.S. News.
• Ranked in the Top 20 Best Places to Be a Teacher by SmartAsset.com.
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