March 2020

Virginia Housing Market Vitality



Virginia metro area house prices are forecasted to track the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 7.9% increase in the next twelve months. Virginia’s housing market vitality, based on the eleven metro housing markets which comprise it, is the same as that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as twenty first in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of improvement in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

Virginia Metro Housing Markets

Virginia is comprised of eleven metro housing markets that account for nearly 87% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Charlottesville, VA Outperform 249
Harrisonburg, VA Outperform 231
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA Underperform 369
Lynchburg, VA Outperform 230
Richmond, VA Outperform 158
Roanoke, VA Outperform 255
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Outperform 282
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Outperform 57
Winchester, VA-WV Outperform 100
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA Outperform 173
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA Underperform 312

Industry Specialization

Virginia’s state economy is specialized in Pro Bus svcs, Information, and Construction. Mining, Manufacturing, and Trade Trans Util industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a lower incidence of poverty amongst Old Dominion State residents and they have greater purchasing power. There are more high school graduates and a larger proportion of the population is college educated. Virginia’s population is comparatively more diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.