In areas where competition is stiff for moderately-priced homes and inventory is thin, potential homebuyers might want to research a segment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that has mostly attracted the attention of developers: Opportunity Zones. 

The more than 8,000 federally designated Opportunity Zones across the country represent areas where new investments can now receive tax breaks and capital gains deferrals. Opportunity Zones may have lower incomes and employment rates than the national average but range from areas suffering from severe disinvestment to neighborhoods with a positive trend of investment even before this program. 

What happens in a given Opportunity Zone depends heavily on local laws, zoning, and land use regulations. But buyers looking for affordable housing in neighborhoods poised for significant investment in coming years may want to investigate the history and circumstances of Opportunity Zones near them to see if any fit their needs. 

To learn more, access resources related to Opportunity Zones from the U.S. Department of the Treasury or read research about the areas from the Urban Institute.