4 Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Tampa

4 Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods in Tampa

Posted on Aug 03, 2021

Thanks in part to the competitive housing market, homebuyers are especially conscious of viewing their home as an investment. High costs have been encouraging people to try and figure out what the next “hot” neighborhood will be - since the currently hot neighborhoods are often out of budget.

The best way to find good investment opportunities in real estate is to pay attention to which neighborhoods offer the amenities people are looking for. A neighborhood with good transportation options, restaurants and bars nearby, and nearby amenities (like grocery stores) will continue to gain traction - and if homes are similar neighborhoods nearby are selling for a lot more, they’re likely undervalued.

So which neighborhoods in Tampa are potentially great for first-time homebuyers who want an affordable option today, but a good return on investment tomorrow?* Here are several up-and-coming neighborhoods worth looking into.

*not financial advice

Tampa Neighborhoods: Palmetto Beach

Easy access to both the water and downtown Tampa should never be underestimated, and Palmetto Beach has both. Even though this is an urban area, there are plenty of single-family homes. The neighborhood’s 17-acre park has a swimming pool, fishing pier, basketball courts, waterfront fitness trail, playgrounds, and more. 

Why it’s a good investment

The mixed-use development of the waterfront is going to bring fresh appeal to this neighborhood located just a 6-minute drive from downtown Tampa. Palmetto Beach is right next to the trendy neighborhood of Ybor City and has plenty of its own cafes, bars, and eateries, allowing for walkability. 

What our Tampa Realtor has to say:

"Palmetto Beach is a great area, home to parts of Ybor, great breweries, some fun repurposed buildings, and historic bungalows. It's also home to IKEA. It's just a short drive to downtown. And it is a really good place for convenience to highways for commuting," notes Tampa-based buyer agent Sunny Crockett.

Coolest feature: 

The Mckay Bay Nature Park & Trail Observation tower offers an escape to nature as well as a breathtaking view of the city across the water.


  • Median sale price: $225,000
  • YoY growth: +47.1%

Tampa Neighborhoods: Tampa Heights

Tampa Heights is the oldest neighborhood in Tampa, with easy access to downtown. This historic and diverse neighborhood has been up-and-coming lately and generating a lot of real-estate buzz, but it’s not too late to get in on a good deal - prices are still appreciating and there are plenty of lower-cost fixer-uppers on the market.

Why it’s a good investment: 

Easy access to downtown, chic local restaurants, and close to the nearby medical facilities? This location will continue to be appealing to home buyers of all ages. Additionally, its location in a preferred flood zone means that this area is less likely to be impacted by devastating floods in the future - something buyers are going to keep paying attention to.

What our Tampa Realtor has to say: 

"Tampa Heights is fantastic. It is Tampa's oldest neighborhood, and home to Armature Works, beautiful green spaces for relaxing, the river walk, and some great new construction options that blend well with the beautiful bungalows in the area," explains Crockett.

Coolest feature:

In 2018 Armature Works opened in the neighborhood - a 1910 streetcar barn repurposed with a food hall, restaurants, rooftop bar and co-working and event spaces - and young professionals were drawn to the region in new numbers.


  • Median sale price: $385,000
  • YoY growth: +30.5% 

Further reading: Is Tampa Heights the hottest real estate market in Tampa Bay? 

Tampa Neighborhoods: Carver City/Lincoln Gardens

What it’s about: Carver City/Lincoln Gardens is located close to the Tampa International Airport, and contrary to what some people may believe, airports often represent a great investment opportunity. As the world becomes more and more connected, people increasingly value property locations near transportation hubs - Forbes notes that “half of the Fortune 500 companies in the USA are headquartered within 10 miles of a hub airport.”

Why it’s a good investment: On the popular neighborhood App NextDoor, neighbors have described Carver City as “walking dog friendly, peaceful, and convenient,” with “clean parks." Altogether, these are exactly the elements that help neighborhoods gain traction and build [value] over the years.

What our Tampa Realtor has to say: 

"Carver City-Lincoln Gardens is a little newer and close to the hubbub that is Westshore. It's great for people who love to shop, and dine in restaurants and establishments that are more well known, as opposed to local," explains Crockett.

Coolest feature: Lincoln Gardens Park


  • Median sale price: $337,500
  • YoY growth: +88.5% 

Further reading:  Carver City Ranked One of the Best Places to Live in America

Tampa Neighborhoods: Sulphur Springs

Names after the Sulphur Springs Water Tower that can be found here, Sulphur Springs is a quiet neighborhood with numerous parks and easy access to downtown Tampa (12 minutes away by car). Historic bungalows are still relatively affordable in this area. The nearby Hillsborough River State Park allows for easy nature access.

Why it’s a good investment: 

This area has elements of desirability that will come into play as Tampa continues to expand outwards - and many Tampa real estate agents believe that Sulphur Springs will be the next “it” neighborhood as the trendiness of Seminole Heights continues to push upward. The neighborhood’s proximity to the city, as well as important local attractions like Busch Gardens, will help sustain its growth. Walkable bars and restaurants like the New World Brewery - which features live bands and an outdoor beer garden - will hopefully continue to proliferate in this area as it grows, and help breathe new life into it.

Coolest feature: The Sulfur Springs Water Tower makes for amazing photos thanks to its resemblance to a Rapunzel-like castle turret next to the Hillsborough River. 

What Our Tampa Realtor has to say:

"Sulphur Springs is up and coming. It's fairly reasonably priced - it's on its way back up from a long time of disrepair," says Crockett.

Stats (via Redfin):

  • Median sale price: $174,900
  • YoY (Year over Year) growth: +32.8%

Tampa Neighborhoods to Avoid

If you’re looking for neighborhoods that will continue to appreciate in value, you want to avoid areas that have experienced little to no growth this past year - especially because the housing market has been so crazy that even typically slow-growth neighborhoods have experienced a lot of upward traction. 

Tampa neighborhoods to avoid if your main goal is getting in early on an up-and-coming neighborhood include:

  • Belmont Heights - the last home to sell in this neighborhood was on market for 177 days
  • Jackson Heights - This neighborhood’s median sale price is down -4.8% since last year
  • Hyde Park - With a median sale price of $905,000, this isn’t an investment neighborhood - nor is it appreciating currently, with homes selling for -15.9% compared to last year. 

Of course, these aren't "bad" neighborhoods by any means! And with the right Realtor, you can sometimes uncover gems-in-the-rough even in very popular neighborhoods.

How to Find Investable Tampa Neighborhoods

The best neighborhoods in Tampa to invest in are changing all the time as the city continues to grow - by the time you read this list, the neighborhoods listed above may have already grown into the next "it" neighborhood. So what can you look for? Here are a few things to keep an eye out for.

  • New construction/renovation: the noise may temporarily bother you, but signs of construction are usually a good thing for a neighborhood. It’s a clear sign that there is local belief in the area’s viability.
  • Vacant homes: Empty homes are a sign that an area may not be worth investing in, since they can drag down property value and stagnate neighborhood growth. Similarly, too many foreclosures in one area can indicate a decline. A 2001 study cited by HUD found that homes within 150 feet of a vacant or abandoned property experienced a net loss of $7,627 in value. Tampa publishes a monthly list of distressed properties slated for demolition which can help you determine if your neighborhood is in decline.
  • Starbucks: it sounds silly, but it’s true - the value of properties within a quarter-mile of a Starbucks rise faster than those that aren’t, in a phenomenon known as “The Starbucks Effect.” Why? The presence of a Starbucks convinces developers that an area is up-and-coming - and they’ll subsequently develop it even more. Higher-end grocery stores (like Trader Joe’s) have been noted to have a similar effect on local property values.
  • Artists and musicians: the arts often pave the way for neighborhood revitalization. Artists looking for cheap areas to establish themselves bring with them a local demand for the same types of cafes and trendy restaurants that ultimately draw in more people and lead to a rise in property value. SoHo in NYC, Fishtown in Philadelphia, and Hampden in Baltimore are all examples of this.
  • Homes moving quickly off the market: Redfin and other aggregate sites can let you know how long homes have sat on the market in a local area compared to Tampa as a whole. If homes are moving more quickly, this area is potentially promising. If homes are lingering, though, that may say something about local confidence in its future direction.

Finally, consult with a local Realtor to get the most up-to-date take on investable neighborhoods. Neighborhoods can shift quickly, and agents often have extensive information about future development plans, potential challenges (like commute times), and more. Get in touch with a Tampa agent.

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