The property market is a pretty fickle place. Things which everybody once seemed to find amazing suddenly become dull and undesirable, and things once thought boring and to be avoided at all costs instead become highly sought after. Just think of Victorian properties — there was a time where the old adage of you would have been hard pressed to give one away comes to mind. By the 1960’s and 1970’s, Victorian properties had fallen so out of favour that many had their interiors ransacked and original features unceremoniously ripped out.
Today however the story is much different. Victorian homes are incredibly popular with homebuyers, and some estate agents have even acknowledged experiencing buyers unwilling to consider purchasing any other property style whatsoever. The same is true of neighbourhoods too, and areas which have been shunned by house buyers for many years can suddenly seem to transform into property hotspots with no warning they were ever on the cusp of change at all.
Being able to spot an area which is up and coming before it actually gets there can be a great way of making your money go further. However it’s no easy task, and for many, a neighbourhood will only fall onto the radar once it’s already started to take off, by which point the best profit growths have already been taken. Here are some tips to try and help you get to grips with how best to spot an up and coming area.
The Number Of Days On Market (DOM)
Take advantage of looking on property portals and looking at the number of DOM of properties. DOM simply refers to Days on Market, and lets you see how quickly properties in an area are selling. If properties are taking over a hundred days to sell for example, chances are the area isn’t one that’s particularly sought after. However on the flip side, if properties are barely lasting a couple weeks and are being snapped up after only 10 days of being listed on the market, it’s worth considering that area as one that’s potentially up and coming.
Watch What Businesses Are Doing
One thing you can do to help spot an upcoming area is to see where businesses are locating themselves. Businesses whether old or new will conduct expensive market research before deciding where to set up, and the goal of this research is simply to work out where they will have a large customer base when they open and where they are likely to be successful. It’s not a bad idea therefore to piggyback off of their findings for free. If a business has decided an area is worthy of their next outpost, it’s likely they’ve caught onto something. Particularly worthy of a mention are Waitrose supermarkets. They are incredibly popular, and this is reflected in property values — Waitrose supermarkets have been found to add an average of 12% onto a property value if there’s one nearby. Therefore, looking to see where a new Waitrose is next going to spring up might not be such a bad move.
What’s In the Local Area?
This latter point also feeds into the next, which is looking out for the local amenities as well as school quality in the area, as both can dramatically affect property values. Buying in an area which doesn’t have these basics covered can be a risky move, and trying to sell in the future may prove difficult. Whilst good schools and shops don’t necessarily have to be on the doorstep of homes in order for an area to be popular, areas without these amenities anywhere closeby at all may not appeal to families and those looking to move into a new home/area with the intention of starting family in the future. This will largely be a result of the area and surrounding area not providing for their needs, and however nice a property may be, having to complete a nightmarish school run twice daily that’s miles out of the way in another town or city will be something many are unwilling to compromise on. The same goes for supermarkets and local shops too — if they’re only accessible after mile on mile of driving, chances are the area won’t appeal to the majority of potential buyers, and it will stay off any list of potential up and coming locations.
Renovation And Regeneration
Don’t overlook renovation and regeneration in your bid to spot an up and coming area. Many people can be put off, particularly if a development may take a few years before it’s complete, however regeneration has the potential to increase property values in the area once all is complete. Big cities, especially ones which were once centres of industry, will often have warehouses and areas of the city which both look and feel neglected. These areas however can be good ones to keep an eye on. If you spot movement which suggests that the city is looking to clean up the area and begin converting old warehouses into flats for example, this may well be a sign that the neighbourhood is on its way up. It’s a promising sign if the local council is willing to start tidying up areas and invest money in order to do so, and it might well be that other developers and businesses follow suit and choose to invest in the area too. There’s also no need to stalk the streets looking out for signs of impending development — you can simply head to town meetings to find out what the next big projects are easily enough.
Much like looking out for regeneration in the general area, watching out for signs of renovation on existing homes by current homeowners can be a good way of spotting an up and coming area. Renovations are a sign that homeowners are invested in their community and are content in the area where they live. Rather than move to a new property somewhere else altogether, homeowners that would rather improve the home they’re already in and continue to make it work for them is usually an encouraging sign. These renovations will typically mean that property values will increase too, so if you spot a few renovations going on in one neighbourhood, it’s more than likely to be a very good sign.
Transport And Travel Links
People will usually always pay for convenience, so it’s easy to see how transportation and travel links have the ability to push up property prices. It’s worth therefore keeping an eye out on any plans within an area to upgrade the existing travel facilities, or indeed introduce new plans altogether. To find out about any upcoming changes to transportation within an area, you can always research the local public transport company’s latest development plans or contact the local council. For example, it’s likely new train services will be implemented or a new line will be constructed in the next five years, so it can be well worth investigating beforehand where new train stops will be located. This will enable you to gain a decent insight into which particular areas will eventually become more sought after, as many people would rather invest in a property which is as close to these new travel facilities as possible, as their property is more likely to gain value as time goes on.
Pay Attention To The Surrounding Area
If you’ve got your eye on an area and are wondering as to whether there is the potential for it to be next big thing among house buyers, take a look at the neighbouring area. If this location is already popular and highly sought after, chances are that the peripheral areas will become desirable too. This is because development expands outward, especially as prices in the neighborhood centre begin to rise. With home values going up as well as rent, many people can find themselves priced out of the market and needing to move. However they usually stay closeby and move to the neighbouring areas, meaning that the cycle of redevelopment continues. Property experts usually refer to this as the ‘ripple effect’.
Look at where the young workers are living and moving to, as this can be a good indication of where the next hot spot is going to be. Age demographic plays a crucial role in determining the areas which will see the most growth in the subsequent years. Much like with the ‘ripple effect’, young people are often priced out of neighbourhoods which already have a good reputation, as property prices are already sky high to begin with. Young professionals will therefore look to other areas, typically where the house prices are reasonable, and they will also look for other things such as being close to transport links and local retailers. This encourages more local business owners to move to the area, meaning that once the young professionals move in, more businesses follow. Other people often worth watching are artists and musicians, as they too will be searching for areas where house prices and rents are affordable. Once moved into the area, these individuals usually have the ability to give a neighbourhood a cool and positive feeling which appeals to many people, who in turn are then encouraged to move to the area.
So whether you’re looking to move from an existing home or are about to buy your very first property, why not try and look out for some of these signs to see if you can find yourself living in the next property hotspot before it becomes the next big thing? And if you’ve already done the legwork and found the area that’s right for you, make sure you check to see the new build homes which are available here.
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