How to predict the next hot spot

Crystal Linter
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    Hot spot suburbs are like the best kept secret. When I tell people what I do, the question quickly follows of what will be the next hot spot to buy in.  The reality is it is not an exact science but there are key indicators which signal which suburbs should be the ones to experience strong growth.  Regardless of if you are buying an investment or a home to live in, most of us hope to build wealth through our property, especially as the property ladder gets harder and harder to get onto. More and more families are using homes as a stepping stone rather than buying their forever home straight from the start as was once the case. So how do we identify hot spot suburbs before they become just that? Here are what we look for when looking for the next it place to buy:


    Planned Infrastructure: The biggest driver of an area being desirable is access to key amenities such as a trainline, schools, shops, parks, the beach and the CBD. When looking at what suburbs will be the next big thing keep an eye out for planned major infrastructure projects or projects currently in progress, such as upgraded transport links or the development of new shopping center's or schools. New or upgraded supermarkets tend to help inject new life into a group of shops as they create a high volume of foot traffic bringing life to shopping strips. These projects indicate potential future growth and increased demand for properties in the area.


    Gentrification: Look for areas that are undergoing an injection of young buyers, where young families or young professionals are moving in and changing the landscape of the suburb. This can often been seen in the street scape with people renovating and doing up homes to improve the overall street appeal of an area. Often these areas have once been undesirable had a poor reputation in the past but are now seeing investment and improvement as buyers are priced out of areas. You will usually see an injection in the commercial shops also within an area with lots of trendy cafes, bars and restaurants popping up.


    Property Price Movement: Examine the property price movement over the past few years in a given suburb. Steady price growth often indicates a suburb that is attracting buyers and an increased demand. In particular its worth seeing if properties have been bought, renovated and sold and what the growth in those properties have been. How long they were on the market either for sale or rent is also a key indicator to the demand for a location.  


    Demographic Factors: Pay attention to the demographics of a suburb. Who is living in an area will play a key role in its future prospects and growth. An increasing number of young residents with decent income can be a positive indicator of future growth potential. Look at factors such as rental yields, vacancy rates, and population growth to determine if the suburb is attracting tenants and buyers and experiencing robust demand.


    The flow on effect: What we tend to see happen is as buyers are priced out of suburbs, usually close to where friends and family reside they will look to close alternatives they can afford. These will often be one or two suburbs over but often very comparable in terms of the access to amenities or infrastructure. These are usually good spots to help predict where gentrification will take place.


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