The housing market in the ‘Bayou City’ is exploding, and supply in many areas is being stretched thin. If you’re looking to buy a home in Houston in the near-term, it’s worth it to check out some of Houston’s up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Even pre-pandemic, the Houston area saw steady and increasing growth in new residents over the past decade. Although the metro is already sitting at fifth place on the list of the largest metropolitan areas in America, with a population of 7,066,141, it’s proven that there’s still room to grow.

 Between 2010 and 2019, Houston saw a population growth rate of 21.6 percent, or 1,284,268 people, according to real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield

Now, COVID-19 is having an added impact on the market. The Houston area is seeing an influx of new residents from out of state. Meanwhile, some sellers are pulling their homes off the market temporarily as the pandemic has put lives on hold. 

Year over year in November 2020, the supply of homes on the market dropped from a 3.6-month supply to a 2.2-month supply, and the market saw a 12 percent increase in median home price across all Houston neighborhoods. 

If the current market prevents you from finding a home in your dream Houston locale, check out some of the great Houston up-and-coming neighborhoods we’ve identified.

Why Buy in an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood?

From a buyer’s perspective, there are a number of benefits to buying in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Getting into a neighborhood on the rise offers the possibility of beating the market, and seeing way higher-than-average appreciation. 

It often offers a deeper sense of community in the neighborhood you call home as well though. Buying into an up and coming community sometimes offers a true feeling of ownership in your surroundings that goes beyond your property lines. 

You can be the first regular at the new local coffee shop, open a small business in your neighborhood, or simply take pride in watching the community (and your home’s value) grow. 

You may be shopping for a new build in a young suburb, or looking to be a part of a resurgence of an older neighborhood. Whatever your motivation, there are plenty of up-and-coming Houston neighborhoods to choose from.

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Where can you find up-and-coming neighborhoods in Houston?

Here are ten of the top Houston up-and-coming neighborhoods to watch:

Independence Heights

Independence Heights is a historic working-class community just north of Houston’s Inner Loop in the Greater Heights area. This up-and-coming Houston neighborhood is located eight miles northwest of Downtown Houston, just north of Interstate 610. 

Considered Texas’s first black city, Independence Heights was founded in 1915 as its own municipality before being annexed into Houston in 1929.

Houston has grown a ton over the past few decades. However, much of the development efforts were focused on downtown, Inner Loop neighborhoods, and the Galleria area.  Independence Heights missed out on the resurgence seen in much of the city. 

Today, the market is beginning to catch up, but property can still be acquired at a steep discount compared with Inner Loop communities just south of the Independence Heights neighborhood.

East River

Houston’s East River area is technically part of the Fifth Ward, one of the city’s historic first sections that were established in the days of its founding. The East River portion of the Fifth Ward is located just north of the popular EaDo (East Downtown) neighborhood, on the opposite side of the Buffalo Bayou. 

The East River area specifically is expected to see a quick resurgence due to Midway Development’s project, East River HTX.

Previously, Midway was the developer behind the City Centre and Buffalo Bayou projects. Both of these were transformative overhauls that created a huge positive impact on the surrounding areas, bringing in new residents and businesses. 

East River offers some outdoor options, great views of the Houston skyline over Buffalo Bayou, as well as quick access to dining and nightlife options in the neighboring EaDo and Midtown areas.

An overall neighborhood resurgence will likely take time, but properties close to the East River are already on the rise.

Elyson

Elyson is a master-planned community from Newland, the developers behind Cinco Ranch and Seven Meadows. The community, located in the Katy area, 36 miles west of Houston, had its grand opening in 2016, and is an up-and-coming community for the Houston suburbs. 

Cinco Ranch, one of Newman’s previous master-planned communities is a mature and massive community in the area. If Newland’s other developments show what their community could grow into, then getting into Elyson in the next few years could offer the opportunity to watch the community grow.

In total, Elyson’s master plan accounts for 6,000 homes on its 3,600 acres, and will feature amenities including tennis courts, hiking trails, a fitness center, and pools.Students are zoned to Katy Independent School District, which has an A rating from the Texas Education Agency.

Aliana

Aliana, from Airia Development Company, has been one of the main up-and-coming neighborhoods in Fort Bend County for nearly a decade. The neighborhood is located about 25 miles southwest of Downtown Houston. 

The 2,000-acre master-planned community has ranked in the top 35 best-selling communities for seven years in a row, as of 2020, and at one point was fourth on that list. In addition, Aliana has been repeatedly recognized at the PRISM awards from the Greater Houston Builders Association.

The price range in Aliana is vast, with new homes ranging from $280k to over $1 million. While the community is still developing, it is already home to 3,400 families and boasts the conveniently located Aliana Shopping Center just outside of the residential sections. 

The Aliana Shopping Center hosts their own H-E-B Market, PetSmart, Hobby Lobby, and the county’s first Next Generation Target store, among other retail and dining options.

Amenities include a resort-style pool, splash pad, 24-hour fitness center, and outdoor recreation options for residents. In June 2020, Aliana opened its last residential portion to new builders, offering buyers another chance to get into this up-and-coming neighborhood.

Tamarron

Tamarron, in the Katy-Fulshear area of west Houston, is a master-planned community currently under development that is making waves on the national best-sellers list. The community, known best for its impressive entryway fountain, will eventually be home to 4,000 homes, including a sectioned off 55+ community of Wellspring within Tamarron proper.

Tamarron has all the resort-style amenities of other master-planned communities in the area, as well as great schools, short commutes, and shopping and dining options in Katy, Texas.

Bridgeland

Bridgeland, in the Cypress area of northwest Houston, is one of the most exciting up-and-coming neighborhoods in the Houston suburbs. It’s roughly halfway towards completion, and the master-planned community will eventually be a focal point in the area. 

Bridgeland is being developed by the Howard Hughes Corporation which has been credited with the very successful development of The Woodlands. In its few decades of history, The Woodlands has redefined the entire area of north Houston, and Bridgeland is expected to do the same. 

The key theme of Bridgeland is a neighborhood offering residents the feeling of living in a parkland resort. In addition to its resort-style amenities, Bridgeland puts a focus on outdoor lifestyles as well. Residents have miles of walking and biking trails, as well as tons of water for kayaking and other paddle sports.

With only two of its four neighborhoods nearing completion, there will be ample time to buy into Bridgeland. As more homes are built, retail and dining establishments will populate the community’s business district, and Bridgeland will likely become a self-contained city-suburb in itself.

Towne Lake

For the past several years, there’s been a buzz around the riparian-themed community of Towne Lake, located in Cypress in northwest Houston. The community’s centerpiece is its 300-acre all-sports lake, which is filled with water-skiers and pontoon boats year round. 

Most aspects of life in the Towne Lake neighborhood revolve around the lake. Whether it's boating as a family or hanging out at the amenities on the shoreline, it’s an all encompassing aspect of the community.

Like other large-scale master-planned communities, Towne Lake features schools within the community, as well as a business district.
Towne Lake has made some serious waves in the real estate community as well. The community received a 2020 Landmark Award from the Houston Business Journal, as well as three separate PRISM awards from the Greater Houston Business Association.

Jersey Village

Jersey Village is an up-and-coming neighborhood in northwest Houston, about 18 miles from downtown. The city was once a small farming community and has since developed into a mature suburb.

The community recently announced the development of a new village center, which they hope will be a centerpiece for the city. The downtown area will include coworking spaces, a town square, boutiques, and restaurant spaces.

The city is close to any amenities you could need and its location at the junction of US 290 and Beltway 8 enables a short commute to downtown, the energy corridor, the Galleria, and other areas in the Houston metro region.

Northside/Near Northside

Houston’s Near Northside is a historic neighborhood, which dates back to the 1880s. Due to its location next to a major railyard, the community has primarily been a working-class neighborhood for much of its history. In 2011 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, mostly in response to the potential development of a planned light rail system through the area from the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Today, the Near Northside neighborhood remains largely working class, with scattered new developments. The largest, and one that has been promising to change the landscape for years, is the Hardy Yards mixed use development project. The project, which is still in its initial stages, eventually plans to transform an abandoned rail yard into a cultural center with commercial space, parks, and new apartments.

Oak Forest

Oak Forest, just north of Houston’s 610 Loop is a mature Houston neighborhood that’s still on the rise. While long established, the area has seen a huge boost in recent years, largely related to the acclaimed Oak Forest Elementary School. According to some realtors, the elementary school brought more families into the neighborhood, and other businesses quickly followed.

Overall, Oak Forest is a cheaper option compared with some inner loop neighborhoods that offers great schools, safe communities, and a quick commute. While prices overall aren’t a steal with a median listing price of $410K, homes can still be found for less than $300K in some areas of the community.

Conclusion

These are just a handful of the young and up-and-coming neighborhoods in the Houston area. The Houston real estate market is always growing. Wherever you look, you’re sure to find some new residential development.Keep researching, and check out our Ultimate Guide to Houston Neighborhoods for more neighborhood ideas.

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