Top 5 Residential Real Estate Investment Markets in Virginia

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By Trent Seigfried Updated May 24, 2024
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Edited by Michael Yessis

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Buena Vista is home to the best residential real estate investment market in Virginia.

The 24416 zip code in Buena Vista presents the greatest opportunity for investors among the 1,356 individual real estate markets in Virginia we evaluated. We looked at property values, population trends, and six other metrics for each market. We used that data to calculate each market's InvestScore.

Top 5 Virginia residential real estate markets

RankCity InvestScore Affordability Property value appreciation
1Buena Vista1003.558.78%
2Ridgeway99.92.652.90%
3Shenandoah99.73.961.65%
4Pearisburg97.73.051.41%
5Collinsville96.93.259.12%
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1. Buena Vista

We've identified the 24416 zip code in Buena Vista as Virginia's best real estate investment market. Here's why.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Buena Vista

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,356 markets)
Zip code24416N/A
InvestScore 100Highest
Typical property value $172,258[1]45th lowest
Five-year appreciation 58.78%[2]38th highest
Household income $49,614[3]296th highest
Affordability ratio 3.547th most affordable
Five-year population growth 10.8%[4]60th highest
Unemployment rate 3.1%[5]87th lowest
Property taxes $1,383[6]90th lowest
Educational attainment 21.5%[7]254th highest
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Buena Vista (zip code 24416) is the best residential real estate investment market in Virginia. It has the 38th highest property value appreciation among markets we evaluated, with a 58.78% appreciation of the typical property over the last five years.

Buena Vista is the 47th most affordable market among the 1,356 Virginia markets we evaluated, with an affordability ratio of 3.5.

2. Ridgeway

The 24148 zip code in Ridgeway is Virginia's second-best residential real estate investment market.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Ridgeway

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,356 markets)
Zip code24148N/A
InvestScore 99.92nd highest
Typical property value $143,780[8]26th lowest
Five-year appreciation 52.90%[9]77th highest
Household income $54,294[10]276th highest
Affordability ratio 2.615th most affordable
Five-year population growth 7.2%[11]90th highest
Unemployment rate 3.8%[12]144th lowest
Property taxes $627[13]10th lowest
Educational attainment 16.1%[14]302nd highest
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The 24148 zip code in Ridgeway features a typical property value of $143,780, the 26th lowest in the state.

Property values have appreciated 52.90% over the past five years, the 77th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state. Ridgeway homes have an affordability ratio of 2.6, the 15th most affordable in the state.

3. Shenandoah

The 22849 zip code in Shenandoah comes in at No. 3 in our ranking of residential real estate investment markets in Virginia.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Shenandoah

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,356 markets)
Zip code22849N/A
InvestScore 99.73rd highest
Typical property value $251,161[15]83rd lowest
Five-year appreciation 61.65%[16]28th highest
Household income $64,436[17]222nd highest
Affordability ratio 3.995th most affordable
Five-year population growth 12.5%[18]49th highest
Unemployment rate 2.2%[19]30th lowest
Property taxes $1,256[20]73rd lowest
Educational attainment 10%[21]332nd highest
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With a typical property value of $251,161, Shenandoah's 22849 zip code features the 83rd lowest property values in the state.

Shenandoah homes have an affordability ratio of 3.9, the 95th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

4. Pearisburg

The 24134 zip code in Pearisburg ranks No. 4 among Virginia's residential real estate investment markets.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Pearisburg

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,356 markets)
Zip code24134N/A
InvestScore 97.74th highest
Typical property value $190,520[22]54th lowest
Five-year appreciation 51.41%[23]89th highest
Household income $62,500[24]89th highest
Affordability ratio 3.028th most affordable
Five-year population growth 13.7%[25]42nd highest
Unemployment rate 3.9%[26]150th lowest
Property taxes $1,027[27]57th lowest
Educational attainment 18.3%[28]284th highest
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Property values in Pearisburg's 24134 zip code have seen the 89th highest increase among evaluated markets in the state, with an appreciation of 51.41% over the past five years.

Pearisburg's affordability ratio of 3.0 makes it the 28th most affordable among the 1,356 markets we evaluated.

5. Collinsville

The 24078 zip code in Collinsville rounds out our top five residential real estate investment markets in Virginia.

πŸ”Ž Key data about Collinsville

Data pointValueRank in state (of 1,356 markets)
Zip code24078N/A
InvestScore 96.95th highest
Typical property value $151,577[29]32nd lowest
Five-year appreciation 59.12%[30]36th highest
Household income $47,130[31]36th highest
Affordability ratio 3.236th most affordable
Five-year population growth 6.5%[32]101st highest
Unemployment rate 5.4%[33]244th lowest
Property taxes $684[34]17th lowest
Educational attainment 23.5%[35]231st highest
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Property values in Collinsville's 24078 zip code rose 59.12% over the last five years, ranking the city 36th highest among evaluated markets in Virginia.

Collinsville homes have an affordability ratio of 3.2, the 36th most affordable among the markets we evaluated.

How we rank residential real estate markets in Virginia

We evaluated 1,356 markets on eight metrics, and then assigned an InvestScore based on their weighted and combined rankings. Each market corresponds to a specific zip code in Virginia.

What is InvestScore?

InvestScore is a score on a scale of 0 (worst in state) to 100 (best in state) that estimates the residential real estate investment potential of a given market. It takes into account a suite of key data points for each city.

  • Typical property value: This measures the typical home value in this zip code, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. It reflects the typical value for homes in the 35th to 65th percentile range, including all homes, with the numbers smoothed and seasonally adjusted. We prefer lower property values, which indicate both more room for growth and a greater ease of purchase. We assign a weight of 20% to typical property values.
  • Property value appreciation: This measures how much property values have increased in the area over the past five years, according to the Zillow Home Value Index. We prefer a higher appreciation, as it indicates better returns on housing. However, past performance isn't indicative of future results. We assign a weight of 20% to property value appreciation.
  • Median household income: This is the inflation-adjusted median household income in the zip code, according to U.S. Census American Community Survey data. We prefer a higher household income, as it indicates local residents have more income to spend on housing. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income. We assign a weight of 10% to median household income.
  • Affordability ratio: This is the ratio of the typical home value to the median household income in the area. A lower ratio is better because it means more households can afford a home, which indicates higher demand. We assign a weight of 15% to the affordability ratio.
  • Population growth: This is how much the area's population has grown over the past five years, according to U.S. Census estimates. Higher is better, as it indicates residents are moving into the area at a rapid clip. We assign a weight of 10% to population growth.
  • Unemployment rate: This is the unemployment rate in the area, according to U.S. Census data. We prefer a lower rate, as it indicates the availability of steady employment in the area, meaning residents will find it much easier to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to unemployment rate.
  • Property tax: This is the median real estate property tax paid in the area, according to U.S. Census estimates. We assign a weight of 10% to property tax.
  • Educational attainment: This is the percentage of residents in the area that have obtained a bachelor's degree or better, according to U.S. Census estimates. We prefer a higher rate because it indicates  local residents who have higher earning potential and thus should be able to afford homes. We assign a weight of 15% to educational attainment.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article isn't intended as, and shall not be understood or constituted as, financial advice. The information in this article isn't a substitute for financial advice from an investment professional or real estate agent who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your financial situation or the specifics of any individual property.

Article Sources

[1] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[2] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[7] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[8] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[9] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[14] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[15] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[16] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[21] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[22] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[23] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[28] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.
[29] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index". Updated March 31, 2024.
[30] Zillow – "Zillow Home Value Index, difference over last five years". Updated March 31, 2024.
[35] U.S. Census – "U.S. Census Table S1501 - Educational Attainment 2018-2022". Updated 2018-2022.

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