What to look for:
1. Follow the artists. Many artists look for affordable housing and inspiring surroundings. We've seen this in many cities now, they'll go into 'less-desirable' neighbourhoods and slowly the area becomes beautified. You'll see trendy coffee shops and art galleries opening and that will give people new reasons to visit that part of town. Then come the young people. They'll move in because they can’t get into the market anywhere else. Then families appear and voila, the neighbourhood just up and came!
2. Look for nice neighbours and proximity to hip neighbourhoods. If there is a pocket of desirable neighbourhoods and a 'black sheep' neighbourhood nearby, chances are those established neighbourhoods will expand into that neighbourhood and push property values up.
3. Look for development. If you build it, they will come. If the government or an investment company thinks it's worth the risk to invest in a new area it means 1). They are probably right and 2). They will do everything to make that neighbourhood successful to protect their investment. This might also mean a shift in by-laws and zoning in these areas, making development legal. Think previous industrial buildings and warehouse converting to lofts or government offices. On a smaller scale, if every other house on the street is being renovated, you know the area is hot and people have an interest in protecting its future as well.
5. Look for strong BIA. These groups want a neighbourhood to succeed and they work with businesses to encourage growth in the neighbourhood. This means a lot of announcements, renovating and flipping new businesses within a short time frame.
6. And of course, talk to an expert/relator, because they have the down-low on what’s coming up!
7. An area that is experiencing bigger increases in values than they have historically or in the past (May be caused by #3). We have seen this in cities across the country.