July is National Ice Cream month! What do ice cream and the housing market have to do with one another? Nothing. Except they are two things that I love to…um…research. And demand for both tends to rise in the warmer months! We’ve taken a look at the local housing markets where five of the best Virginia ice cream shops are located. I have not independently verified the deliciousness of the ice cream mentioned below (although I would be happy to take on that task!) The housing market data are from Virginia REALTORS® and reflect conditions through June 2020.
The website, thedailymeal.com named family-owned Island Creamery on Chincoteague Island as its best ice cream shop in Virginia. According to the creamery’s website, all of their ice cream is made in small batches and uses locally-grown fruits and cream and milk from local cows.
- In Accomack County, where Chincoteague Island is located, the housing market rebounded in June. Home sales were up 1.8% in June 2020 compared to last June. Prices were up by 5.0%. The typical home was priced at $172,500 in Accomack County, significantly lower than the statewide median list price of $319,900.
Scoutology has listed Kline’s Dairy Bar in Harrisonburg as one of the best ice cream spots in Virginia. Kline’s was established in 1943 by John Kline and was originally located on the first floor of the family’s house. The typical spring market in Harrisonburg was cooler this year as a result of COVID-19 and the economic downturn.
- Market activity was still relatively slow in the City of Harrisonburg in June, with sales down by 6.8% compared to last June. However, the number of pending sales was up by 9.3% in the City. As a result, the market looks to be poised to rebound as the hot weather continues.
Travel & Leisure taste-tested ice cream across the country and named La Flor Michoacana in Charlottesville as the best ice cream shop in Virginia. This homemade ice cream and POPSICLE shop opened its doors in Charlottesville in 2015. The goal of the shop’s owner was to open an authentic paleta shop in the United States. (The paleta is a Mexican popsicle studded with hunks of fruit and homemade ice cream!)
- Like in most places around the State, housing market activity in the City of Charlottesville has slowed. In June, sales were down 15.9% compared to a year ago. Despite the slowdown in sales, home prices continue to rise, and the median sales price in June in the City of Charlottesville was $360,000. A lack of inventory continues to be a constraint on the local market. At the end of June, there were an estimated 100 active listings, which is down 39.4% compare to last June.
If you’re looking for a drive-through ice cream option, you can try Moo Thru in the Town of Remington, Virginia, which was ranked by onlyinyourstate.com as one of the state’s best ice cream shops. Moo Thru was founded by a 4th generation dairy farmer. Some of customers’ favorite flavors at Moo Thru are Blackberry Merlot with Dark Chocolate Chunks and Bourbon Caramel.
- Remington is a small town located in Fauquier County, about a mile from the Culpeper County border. The housing market has been fairly resilient in Fauquier County throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In June, sales were up 3.6% in the County, and the median home price in the County was $457,500, up 11.7% from a year ago. Home sold in 43 days, on average, in June 2020, or nine days more quickly than a year ago.
Last year, USA Today named Charm School Social Club in Richmond as Virginia’s best ice cream parlor. Offering scoops, floats and hand-packed pints (including vegan ice cream), Charm School updates its Instagram and Twitter pages with daily flavor updates. They hand-make their cones every day from scratch, which means they can occasionally run out of cones. Visit early to make sure you get one!
- The city of Richmond’s housing market fared relatively well in the spring when most other local markets were seeing significant slowdowns. However, sales were down in the city in June, declining by 19.5% compared to a year ago. However, homes continue to sell very quickly, with an average days on market of 21 in June 2020, nine days faster than a year earlier. Furthermore, homes sold for more than list price. A lack of inventory is constraining the number of sales, as the supply of active listings was down 41.8% in Richmond in June compared to June 2019.
I know there are many other great ice cream shops out there across the Commonwealth! Let us know your favorite. And while you’re at it, let us know how your business and local housing market are faring this summer.