Richmond, VA City Guide [Real Estate]

Richmond is one of the oldest major cities in the United States and the capital of Virginia. With a 2020 city population of 226,610, it is the fifth-largest city in the state behind Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Arlington, and Norfolk according to Livability ranked Richmond 27th on their Top 100 Best Places to Live in America list in 2021, just behind Tampa, FL and Durham, NC. Among the details Livability noted, Richmond is home to more than 900 restaurants and a widely recognized foodie scene, tons of amazing amenities, and a relatively low cost of living.

According to North American Moving Services Relocation Guides:

  • Although the median age of its residents is 33.4 years old, Richmond has an energetic vibe. This is especially so from September to May, when the city is filled with college students. 
  • Richmond provides the ideal environment for healthy living, with many advanced medical facilities, specialist hospitals, clinics, and assisted living communities to meet the health care needs of people of all ages. 
  • Richmond is home to many parks, trails, and natural spots, which offer virtually endless opportunities for physical activities. 
  • Richmond is a great place to raise a family, with numerous public and private schools to choose from. 
  • Richmond has a wide array of family-friendly attractions to provide entertainment and education for your family, from museums to amusement parks. The vibrant art scene and numerous cultural events can contribute to your children’s creative development.

Richmond Real Estate:

Similar to almost all areas in the U.S. home prices increased in the Richmond area in 2021 compared to 2020. According to the Annual Report on the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service Area, which covers residential real estate activity in Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, and Richmond City, the overall median sales price increased 11.3 percent to $325,000 for the year. The average sales price was $366,460, up 11.2% from 2020. Single-family home prices were up 12.0 percent compared to 2020, and condo/townhome prices were up 9.4 percent. On average, sellers received 103.1% of their original list price at sale, a year-over-year improvement of 3.1 percent. Inventory in the area ended the year at 815 active listings, down 42.6% from the 1,421 active listings at the end of 2020. In comparison, inventory at the end of the year averaged close to 2500 homes from 2017 through 2019. The Annual Report noted “This year [2022] looks to continue the trends seen in the last 18 months, pushing home prices higher still. As mortgage rates are likely to continue to rise over the year as well, housing affordability will remain an important factor to watch.”

Historic residential homes near downtown Richmond, VA. Photo by Stephanie Rhee on Unsplash

Richmond compared to:

Richmond is in the Richmond metropolitan statistical area, which is the 45th largest MSA in the United States. The Richmond MSA population was 1,314,434 in 2020, an increase of 10.78% from 2010, according to the Visual Capitalist website. 

Here is how the Richmond MSA compares to other MSA’s in the southeast [Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida] that are around the same size (ranked 25-65):

RankMSAPopulation (2020)Change since 2010
38Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC1,799,6745.00%
40Jacksonville, FL1,605,84819.34%
43Raleigh-Cary, NC1,413,98225.08%
45Richmond, VA1,314,43410.78%
61Greenville-Anderson, SC928,19512.63%

Richmond vs. Raleigh:

In a comparison on on January 17, 2022, here’s how Richmond compared to Raleigh, NC a city in a similar-sized MSA about 2.5 hours south-southwest of Richmond:

  • The Median Age in Raleigh is 0.1 years younger than in Richmond.
  • Raleigh housing costs are 22.6% more expensive than Richmond housing costs.
  • The average commute for residents of Raleigh is 1.5 minutes longer than it is for residents of Richmond.
  • Raleigh is 7.6% more expensive than Richmond.
  • Health related expenses are 5.0% less in Raleigh.

Data from

 Richmond, VARaleigh, NCUnited States
Median Income$41,331$54,581$53,482
Median Age32.632.537.4
Avg. Home Price$282,800$346,600$291,700
Avg. Commute Time21.8723.3926.38

*Metropolitan Areas (metro areas) have at least one urban core area of at least 50,000 population. These are the largest population centers, sometimes encompassing many counties. 

Top image credit: Derrick Brooks on Unsplash

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