The NRV Real Estate Market in 2021

Disclosure: This is a paid post sponsored by Nest Realty NRV.

At the start of each year, the Nest Realty NRV team locks ourselves in a room with buckets of popcorn and coolers of cold drinks - shout out CMY - and we dig into the real estate market that was. When we at last come up for air, we do so having looked at hundreds of data points in order to best advise our clients on the state of the NRV's real estate market past, present, and future. We call it our Nest Report, and we present it here for The Key Play. We know that not everyone is going to be interested in the nitty gritty details, but we've found that all of us have two things in common - (1) we're all Hokies, and (2) everyone is at least a little curious about what's going on in the real estate market. So our goal with this report is to hit the highlights, do it in a way that everyone can appreciate visually, and present it in a truthful and informed way. You can see the whole report at

The real estate market in the New River Valley, like nearly every other market across the country, was absolutely bonkers in 2021. Multiple offers in every price point, bidding wars, and the like, were commonplace. Average sales prices were up 11% across the NRV, Days On Market fell 42%, and nearly every micro-market saw a similar story. Some have pointed to this as a sign that the real estate market is primed for a recession, but before we jump to that conclusion, there are three indicators we feel best forecast where the market is currently, and where it's going. Those are Mortgage Rates, Consumer Confidence, and Unemployment Rates.

Mortgage Rates - Mortgage rates almost certainly impact affordability more than any other metric we study. And while rates have ticked up in 2022, they continued to remain artificially low in 2021, which drove much of the frenzy we saw throughout the year. As rates move upward in 2022 it's natural to think this will slow sales, but the likelihood is that continued low inventory will just diffuse buyers across more price points.

Consumer Confidence - Consumer confidence in the real estate market has continued to remain relatively steady over the period studied. While there was a definitive drop at the outset of the pandemic, consumer confidence has remained stable overall, and we expect that to continue. So while it's easy to point to things like inflation and rising interest rates as threatening the market, the truth is that at the moment, confidence continues to remain strong.

Unemployment Rates - With nationwide unemployment ending the year at 3.9%, and the NRV seeing an unemployment rate almost two points lower (2.1%), we continue to see an extremely strong labor market in the New River Valley. That's good news for the NRV because employed people often buy homes; should inflation rise it's even better news for homeowners in the New River Valley because equity will continue to grow, while mortgage payments remain fixed.

Is the market challenging? Yes, without a doubt. Will that continue into 2022? All signs point to yes. But whether you're in the market to buy or sell here in the NRV, or just curious as to what's happening in your favorite college town in Virginia, we'll be here, happy to chat. Reach out on our website,, or find us on our socials @NestRealtyNRV. We'd love to hear from you, and Go Hokies!


I am completely removed from this but I appreciate the time you guys put in. Thanks for the info, was interesting.

Not too early to start planning that retirement home in the NRV... how is real estate in the"far east" these days?

I am not sure what to do with my hands now


I keep telling my wife that Blacksburg is the place to be but she keeps telling me we are going to buy a place in UK and somewhere in the Mediterranean. hahaha... silver lining there is I'll greatly reduce my trip time for attending games!

Do both?!

I guess I have to ask. My $84 yearly recurring deposit for TKP literally *just* went through so I'm kinda wondering why an ad is the top post on the site?

TKPC membership hides all the display ads on the site. This is a sponsored post.

No pesky display ads, only offers from TKP sponsors

And in my opinion it is really informative content that I think is applicable to a lot of TKPers, those living in the NRV or thinking about moving there.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one (eg what is a "sponsored (and off-topic) post" if not an ad?). I just thought the timing was ironic. I just hope it doesn't start happening more often.

An add is only beneficial for the advertiser, the sponsors at least offer some value for the community. In Nest's case reports on NRV realty. Homefield offers TKP members a discount. These posts are so few and far between that I think its the perfect balance.

I've been a member since before the sponsored posts started and I hardly notice them, I would guess just because of the timing of your transition this was probably more noticeable.

Edit: Yeah looking at the post history 10 sponsored posts in 3+ years, personally I see 0 issue with that. Its a viable revenue stream that I see value in (at least Homefield, since I don't [likely won't again] live in NRV)

(add if applicable) /s

the best part of this is that it's a choose your own adventure ad. If you don't want the info, then don't click on it 👍

As long as pop-ups and videos aren't automatically happening then I'm good.

There it is.

Do I go into the racing threads and bitch about "who cares?" No. Are you going to catch me in the gamer's thread? No. Whisk(e)y and electronics don't mix.

I submit we make an addition to the community guidelines:

Thou shalt not entereth a thread to bitcheth about its existence if thou couldest continue thy TKPing without clicking on thine thread.

*Before you at me about "who cares about racing", know that I have not sat and watched an entire race since Davey Allison died. The poor soul couldn't spell his own first name correctly, but the SOB could race.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Thou shalt not entereth a thread to bitcheth about its existence if thou couldest continue thy TKPing without clicking on thine thread.

I don't. But surely you see the difference between user submitted posts to off-topic or topic-specific subforums and the main page, right?

Yeah I see the difference, but I also see the difference in user experience between pop up ads etc and a sponsored forum topic (main page or otherwise). I pay to join TKPC to avoid the former, and have never once felt that the latter in any way diminished my experience when using the site. In fact, as others have said, the sponsored posts can be and have been informative and valuable. YMMV, obviously.

And I think the others have made some good points which is why I said my piece and was leaving it alone. But I also thought it was an unfair presentation of my comment so I felt I needed to correct it.

Fair enough.

I don't.

But ya did though.

But surely you could have kept scrolling, right?

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Super cool. I love Real Estate and look forward to digging in and seeing what is out there in the NRV to buy that will be fun and provide a solid risk/return scenario. I need something to do when I visit now that the girl is going to the Burg! Solid content and just a couple of remarks... interest rates are without question going to go up due to the Fed movements... maybe 50 basis points this year and another 75 next year? So, there will be some compression in the spreads but you are likely looking at 4.5% mortgages this time next year. I am guessing the NRV is reasonably rate sensitive so maybe another single digit price increase year over year for 2022/2023 and then a flattening? Just guessing here but I love to predict. Anyway, great content and well presented. Thanks again.

That's what we're expecting - a plateau, but when it comes? Who knows. Median prices in town up another 4.5% in the last three months. Personally I think we see it sooner than later ... there's a TON of buyer fatigue right now, and rightfully so. But I thought we'd see it in the last half of 2021, and it just never came.

If you're in to the national forecast, my friend Mike at Altos Research puts out a weekly report that's always super helpful.

Currently in Sterling, VA. Would like to eventually move out there

I think I'm ready to sell and upgrade. Unfortunately, inventory is super low. And my dog has completely destroyed my upstairs carpet.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

There might be some ways around that. Happy to give you some ideas.

The low inventory or the destroyed carpet? /s

Gotta fix the dog first. Had been holding out for a breeder, but never got the paperwork back.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

Thanks for writing this.

I've toyed with the idea of place in Blacksburg, and it's probably a good idea to track the market there.

Not to necromance this topic, but I've just decided that the NRV might be an option in 2024, but the stay would likely be temporary.

How is the rental market for houses/townhouses in the greater NRV looking? Maybe Radford / Christiansburg / Dublin rather than Blacksburg?

[Posting this as a comment rather than a private message or email because I think it could have general interest here]

Wait, what?

I would say better than the last couple years. Terrace View is just finishing up a massive replacement of older buildings. There are several other developments of townhouses/apartments finishing up next to the bypass by the Blacksburg Macado's. That said, students are definitely coming back to the area more and more as the Covid restrictions ease/lift.

Rental market is tight, as well - getting better as some of the larger projects like Terrace View/The Hub come back online, and Sturbridge Square (I forget their new name), and others ... but it's still tight. Talked to a tenant today., vet students, who'd been looking for a month.

If you want a fantastic property manager to be on the hunt for you, let me know and I'll connect you.

Thanks, will do as I get closer to retirement - probably 2 years from July.

Wait, what?

I just hope the housing market is still on fire in a year or so. Wife and I are building now in the county outside Blacksburg then will be selling the house in Cburg. Building through Covid has been a nightmare. Lack of supplies and worse lack of labor.

I had a house custom built 5 years ago and it cost a fortune. I can't imagine doing that now with the cost of materials.

We got delayed in starting and our basement costs from last March to this March went from 30K to 47K for looking at precast wall panels.

Buying a house has been miserable. Our 7th offer just got accepted, and seeing people flip their home in 3 years for $140k makes me want to vomit

What's up TKPers! So... it looks like our daughter isn't the only one headed to VA. The wife and I are seriously considering heading to SML and buying a lakefront property. I've been tracking properties for a few months now and it is super interesting. It looks like the rising rates are driving a lot of activity as you would expect. All that being said, does anybody have any thoughts on SML as a place to live year-round? Believe it or not... I've never been there! My wife still thinks it is the place where Dirty Dancing was filmed (not really).

Not sure this is still the case, but the lake levels used to change pretty drastically. The house I was visiting was good most of the time, but when they let a ton of water out of the lake, their dock would almost become not usable. Check to see if they still do that. If so, find a dock with some depth.

The key to living at SML year round is building community in your neighborhood and/or affinity groups because there is not a lot else going on in the off-season. You might favor houses in Franklin county where there are less rentals and look for neighborhoods where most everyone does live there full time or at least doesn't rent their house out in the summer.
Waters Edge has a great golf course. It has a reputation for being a good community. You'll need some around the house hobbies like wood working, cooking, reading, etc to entertain yourself. Eastlake is a big and growing church with lots of ways to get involved if that's something you are interested in.
As far as selecting houses, I'm a big cove person. The lake gets busy during the summer and the chop in the main channel can be a pain, especially if you are trying to dock your boat. It's much easier to swim around the dock in a quiet cove. I think 15" of depth under the dock is enough to avoid any water level issues. Don't settle for a subpar dock. That will be your living room in the summer.
See what type of sun the outdoor areas of your house get during afternoon and evening. Our back deck was basically unusable in the afternoon during the summer because it got so hot. We ended up making it a covered and screened in porch in order to actually use the space.
We have a house on the Roanoke river side because it's much closer to Bburg but I actually prefer the Blackwater side. If you find a house map out the distance to the grocery store, west lake shopping center, and a few restaurants. You want to find something that is no more than 20mins away from these areas.
You'll need a fun boat. If you decide on a house let me know and I'll put you in contact with a good guy to talk too.

Pain is Temporary, Chicks Dig Scars
Glory is Forever, Let's Go Hokies!!

i've spent a lot of time in the living community called "Bernard's landing", link here Lots of waterfront properties, in the community there are 2 outdoor pools plus an indoor one, tennis and racquetball courts, fitness center, restaurant called 'Napoli', boat rentals, plus other stuff i'm probably forgetting. It's right by Sailors Cove for calmer waters from the main branch of the Lake, it's got dockspace and boat rentals

Looks like there's currenty 3 places for sale in the community, not sure what kind of place you're specifically looking for. There are plenty of people who either live at SML year round or on some form of rotation basis.

You can also rent through one of the realtor companies in the landing, That way if you wanna try before you buy, it can give you a decent idea of what to expect while you'd be living there.

They'll really get after ya

If you want to understand SML and how/why it became what it is today, the history of Bernard's Landing is pretty relevant I think. When it went bankrupt in the 80s it was a turning point for the area.

That's where I'd like to end up, though I'm still (a) several years out and (b) concerned about the rate of increase of housing prices vs my retirement savings. And there's always (c) what my wife would like to do instead.

If you're not sure if my comment warrants a "/s", it probably does.

Suggestion: stay near where you're thinking of buying at some point during the busy season and decide if being lakefront is what you really want. Years ago, my inlaws bought a waterfront lot, but they didn't like the amount of noise from all the boat traffic. They elected to sell that lot and move a bit further back. They've been there for ~15 years now and love it. They have to drive ~5min to get to their dock, but they're happy with that trade-off.

If you can afford the time, visiting during both the busy and off seasons will give you an idea of how things change and help you find the ideal location given what matters to you.

"Those who jump into the void owe no explanation to those who stand and watch."

Fact: Both Dirty Dancing AND What About Bob were filmed (at least in part) there.

SML is great, jet skis suck, real estate there is inflated (especially for what's being offered), there are still a hand full of locals with a lot of property and a lot of influence who make... questionable decisions... so... IIWII in that respect. There are areas of the lake that get less traffic and, contrary to popular belief, you don't actually HAVE to clear cut your entire property and plant grass if noise is an issue... it can be an issue particularly on summer weekends and holidays.

Ummm... wasn't dirty dancing filmed at Mountain Lake?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)..

Looks like that's the case. Damn... I knew several folks who were extras in the beach scene and I have labored (apparently for years) under the misconception that scene was filmed at one of the SML beaches in Moneta or Huddleston.

Fun fact, Mountain Lake started filling back up last year.