Spotting Hidden Potential: Identifying 'Up-and-Coming' Boston Areas

In the Boston area, several up-and-coming areas offer attractive investment opportunities.

city skyline during night time



Jan 21, 2021

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Over the past year, the Boston real estate market has experienced significant growth, attracting investors, buyers, and analysts. Approximately 6.5 million people live in Boston, and 4.34 million live in the Greater Boston Area. 

We're here to explore the up-and-coming Boston areas, examining their unique features and hidden potential. So, investing in real estate or establishing roots in Boston requires understanding the city's most promising neighborhoods and areas.

Identifying the Top 5 'Up-and-Coming' Boston Areas

ship yard during golden hour


  • Area: 1.6 Square miles
  • Population: 18,510
  • Average Home Value: $639,054

Winthrop, along Massachusetts' coast, is a historic town with scenic beauty and a wealth of history throughout the Greater Boston region. Established in 1630, it boasts a storied past reflected in its historic sites and museums. 

Winthrop is the 100th largest community in Massachusetts, with 18,510 residents, and features a rich tapestry of pre-WWII architecture. 

Here, you'll find luxurious condos, ranging from cozy 1 bedroom getaways to expansive 4 bedroom retreats. However, Winthrop's housing costs remain affordable compared to the state's most expensive areas. 

In contrast to the national average, the City's workforce is highly skilled in computers and mathematics. Zillow reports that the average home value in Winthrop is $639,054, an increase of 7.6% since last year.

Besides, the median sold price for homes in Winthrop was $572,500, with a median price per square foot of $416 as of February 2024. This figure represents a 1.3% change compared to the previous year. 

Education plays a pivotal role in Winthrop, with 42.38% of adults holding at least a bachelor's degree, surpassing the national average. About 10% of Winthrop's workforce works from home, primarily in knowledge-based occupations. 

With a per capita income of $49,915, the City ranks middle income compared to Massachusetts but affluent compared to other U.S. cities. It also has 56,000 square feet of impressive amenities available.

Each luxury residence offers 24-hour concierge service and valet parking, shared outdoor terraces, a 75-foot indoor pool, and an F.T.X. Wellness Center with Pilates, Yoga, and treatment rooms. There is also a 20-foot-tall glass-paneled hall that will serve as a popular public space throughout the year. 


  • Area: 7.10 Square miles
  • Population: 118,627
  • Average Home Value: $962,679

Cambridge is an exciting city in Massachusetts, adjacent to Boston across the Charles River. Approximately 118,627 people resided in the City as of 2024, after which it grew modestly at a rate of 0.06% per year. Based on the results of the last national census conducted in 2020, the population increased by 0.23%.

Its average home value is $962,679, an increase of about 2.9% over past years. It also boasts a high standard of living, with an average household income of $169,569 and a poverty rate of 12.14 percent.

The growth and rebranding of Cambridge Side Mall, which includes new housing options, demonstrate how much the City has grown. As part of this development, approximately 2,400 housing units and extensive retail space will be built in the Cambridge Crossing area.

Aside from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) is also located here, making it one of the world's top universities. More than four-fifths (80%) of those aged above 25 have acquired either a bachelor's or higher degree from institutions within Cambridge itself. Since it is a center for brainpower, it attracts many foreigners, who make up nearly a third of its residents (29.1%).

The City is a beacon for young professionals who desire the kind of lifestyle that only a large community can offer between Harvard and M.I.T. In this Boston neighborhood, you can visit cafes, bars, restaurants, shops, and museums famous for their intellectual ambiance.

Jamaica Plain

  • Area: 4.4 square miles
  • Population: 43,854
  • Average Home Value: $727,142

Jamaica Plain is a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, with a rich history and an active community. There are approximately 43,854 residents in this neighborhood spans 4.4 square miles and has an urban-suburban mixed atmosphere.

Despite its urban setting, it retains a close-knit community vibe, attracting young professionals, families, and immigrants.

Public schools in Jamaica Plain provide quality learning opportunities for families and children. Its liberal-leaning population encourages inclusivity and progressive values.

Known for its lush green spaces and local solid pride, Jamaica Plain offers its residents an array of amenities and recreational opportunities. Its picturesque parks, such as the Emerald Necklace, Arnold Arboretum, and Jamaica Pond, provide outdoor activities and leisure space.

Housing options in Jamaica Plain vary from triple-decker apartments to lofts and mansions, reflecting the area's architectural style. Its average home value is currently $727,142, representing a 2.7% increase over the past year.


  • Area: 2.46 square miles
  • Population: 40,787
  • Average Home Value: $483,207
cars parked in front of brown building during daytime

Chelsea, Massachusetts, is the tiniest City in Massachusetts, stretching only 2.46 square miles. It is situated right on the other side of the Mystic River from Boston. 

According to the 2024 census, the municipality had a population of 36,691 people. Unlike its small size, Chelsea has a high population density and provides various services for residents, such as bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

The City boasts a diverse population and a rich history. It was incorporated as a town in 1739 and later as a city in 1857. Many families are attracted to it because it feels like an urban area with mostly left-leaning people.

This year, the median price of a house in Chelsea has increased by 5% to $483,207, while the median price of a condo is $341K with an average rent of $2300. Over the past few years, an increasing estate sector has indicated a growing demand for housing units in the City.

There is a celebrated Tobin Bridge on Broadway, which represents how much Chelsea has changed since then. It used to be predominantly Jewish, but today, you will encounter Latin American influences through its various vendors.

While employment decreased between last year and this, Chelsea still provides ample job opportunities in these sectors. September 2023, the employment rate for individuals aged 16 to 64 dropped to 63.4% from 70.6%.

Aside from the MBTA bus service and commuter rail stops, residents enjoy easy access to public transportation, and several public schools offer comprehensive educational programs. The area has 3 schools, which serve 777 students.

The City has a significant Hispanic population, with most identifying as two or more races (Hispanic). It also has a substantial foreign-born population, accounting for 47.2% of residents.


  • Area: 4.12 square miles
  • Population: $877,910,
  • Average Home Value: $877,910

Somerville is located northwest of Boston and north of Cambridge in Middlesex County. With an estimated 80,464 residents, it is considered one of the best places to live in the state.

In Somerville, the average home value is $877,910, marking a 3.3% increase over the past year. With an urban-suburban mixed environment, the area offers numerous amenities, including bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Somerville attracts young professionals due to its liberal atmosphere and above-average schools.

However, the median home price in Somerville is $1,080,500, with a median price per square foot of $737. The housing index estimates that the cost of housing in Somerville is 223.9% of the national average.

Somerville is a young city with a median age of 31.8 and a median household income of $108,896, which grew by 6.44% from 2020 to 2021. Its diverse ethnic population is dominated by Whites (non-Hispanics) at 68.8%, Asians (non-Hispanics) at 9.3%, and Hispanics at 12.3%.

Among the educational institutions in the City is Tufts University, which lies on the border between Somerville and Medford. It has a vocational, musical, and athletic program. The high school has a student proficiency in math and science of 73%, in English and history of 83%, and a graduation rate of 89.9%.

Boston is an ideal location for rising areas as a city full of potential and growth opportunities. Based on market trends, job growth, and community development, we have identified 5 neighborhoods in Boston poised to grow and succeed. Keep these areas in mind if you are considering an investment in real estate or just looking for a new place to live. Residents and investors will benefit from Boston's up-and-coming areas with the right timing and strategy.

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