According to the August 2020 Home Sales Report released by Virginia REALTORS®, sales in rural and suburban markets have seen a significant rise.

Across Virginia, home sales increased as homebuyers returned to the market in force following the spring slowdown caused by COVID-19. Statewide, there were 13,745 home sales in August, up 12% over last year. Home prices also continued to surge, reflecting strong demand, limited supply, and low mortgage rates. In August, the median statewide home sales price was $330,000, up more than 10% over August 2019.

Amid the booming summer market, lifestyle changes brought on by COVID-19 had a distinct impact on homebuying trends. In Virginia, the number of sales in rural counties this summer was 15% higher than last year. By comparison, sales were up 12% in suburban markets and up only 6% in urban communities. The ability to work from home, coupled with concerns about COVID-19 in dense areas, may be pushing homebuyers to seek out rural and suburban areas.

“Since the appearance of COVID-19, we’ve been hearing anecdotal stories about workers looking to move to smaller communities now that they’re able to telework,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD. “Virginia’s summer sales data provides the first concrete evidence that there has, indeed, been growing interest in suburban, and especially rural, communities.”

It remains to be seen whether the “work-from-home” trend is a long-term shift that will have a permanent impact on housing preferences in Virginia and beyond.

Click here to view the full August 2020 Home Sales Report.