How can we identify neighborhoods that are on the up-and-up? Places that are rapidly improving, where money is pouring in to keep houses fresh and up to date?
These are often the type of areas that are going to see significant uplift in price over time.
One way to do that is by changes in economic indicators, but what if we want something that's a little more "up to the minute"? We decided to check MLS listings for the number of times the word "upgrade" or "renovated" is mentioned, and put that on a map.
In Northwest Dallas, an arc of renovation is clearly pushing westward into areas that were historically cheaper.
South of I-30, renovation activity is radiating north and west of the Bishop Arts district.
If the word "renovation" in an MLS listings is telling us that renovation has already happened, that makes it a kind of lagging indicator looking at the recent past. What if we wanted something forward-looking that might tell us a hint of the near-future? Building permits can help. We took building permit data from the Dallas Open Data Initiative and filtered out major public works to identify areas where construction is happening "now."
There are some overlaps but also some important differences. Construction permit data are picking up major redevelopments happening north of I-30. But they also identify some activity happening outside the core Oak Cliff zones, in places further east like Cedar Crest, where home renovation is at an earlier stage and happening at a smaller scale. These changes vary widely from block to block. But this helps us find which blocks might be the hot blocks of the future, and help us hone in on buying opportunities there in order to benefit from the upward trend, whether it's for flipping or a buy-rehab-rent strategy.