The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Virginia For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in Virginia that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the most expensive places to live in Virginia.

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and Virginia does this very well. Families love the Old Dominion's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in Virginia that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in Virginia for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Virginia? That would be Blacksburg.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 61 places in Virginia with more than 5,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in Virginia for 2021:

  1. Blacksburg
  2. Williamsburg
  3. Fredericksburg
  4. Woodstock
  5. Charlottesville
  6. Richmond
  7. Alexandria
  8. Farmville
  9. Lexington
  10. Falls Church

What's the most expensive place to live in Virginia? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Blacksburg is the most expensive place to live in Virginia.

So hopefully Covington (the cheapest place to live in Virginia) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about Virginia and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Virginia For 2021

1. BlacksburgBlacksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 44,303
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.9x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 39.0x (2nd most expensive)
More on Blacksburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Blacksburg comes in at $43,173 and the median home value is $298,400 for 2021.

2. WilliamsburgWilliamsburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,927
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.3x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.2x (12th most expensive)
More on Williamsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Williamsburg comes in at $57,463 and the median home value is $306,000 for 2021.

3. FredericksburgFredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,622
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.6x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.2x (2most expensive)
More on Fredericksburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fredericksburg comes in at $65,641 and the median home value is $367,200 for 2021.

4. WoodstockWoodstock, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,210
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.3x (7th most expensive)
More on Woodstock: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Woodstock comes in at $42,868 and the median home value is $215,100 for 2021.

5. CharlottesvilleCharlottesville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 47,096
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.0x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 52.1x (20th most expensive)
More on Charlottesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Charlottesville comes in at $59,471 and the median home value is $299,600 for 2021.

6. RichmondRichmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 226,622
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.1x (9th most expensive)
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Richmond comes in at $47,250 and the median home value is $230,500 for 2021.

7. AlexandriaAlexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 157,613
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.7x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 57.8x (38th most expensive)
More on Alexandria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Alexandria comes in at $100,939 and the median home value is $572,900 for 2021.

8. FarmvilleFarmville, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,117
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.9x (10th most expensive)
More on Farmville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Farmville comes in at $35,995 and the median home value is $185,800 for 2021.

9. LexingtonLexington, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,241
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 54.1x (27th most expensive)
More on Lexington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lexington comes in at $42,632 and the median home value is $235,700 for 2021.

10. Falls ChurchFalls Church, VA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 14,128
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.2x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 68.4x (53rd most expensive)
More on Falls Church: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Falls Church comes in at $127,610 and the median home value is $789,300 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Old Dominion For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Virginia
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in Virginia to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 61 places in Virginia that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in Virginia according to the data is Blacksburg. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Virginia For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in Virginia that have the highest cost of living, with Blacksburg ranking as the most expensive city in the Old Dominion.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in Virginia according to the data:

  1. Covington
  2. Pulaski
  3. Big Stone Gap

For more Virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In Virginia

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Blacksburg 6.0 44,303 6.9x 39.0x
2 Williamsburg 10.33 14,927 5.3x 48.2x
3 Fredericksburg 11.0 28,622 5.6x 52.2x
4 Woodstock 13.67 5,210 5.0x 45.3x
5 Charlottesville 14.0 47,096 5.0x 52.1x
6 Richmond 14.33 226,622 4.9x 46.1x
7 Alexandria 14.67 157,613 5.7x 57.8x
8 Farmville 17.33 8,117 5.2x 46.9x
9 Lexington 18.0 7,241 5.5x 54.1x
10 Falls Church 18.67 14,128 6.2x 68.4x
11 Warrenton 19.0 9,913 4.7x 55.9x
12 Manassas 19.33 41,174 4.0x 53.3x
13 Norfolk 20.33 244,601 4.0x 48.7x
14 Fairfax 20.67 23,531 4.8x 63.8x
15 Manassas Park 21.0 16,986 3.5x 50.8x
16 Radford 22.33 17,691 4.7x 49.9x
17 Harrisonburg 23.0 53,273 4.4x 52.9x
18 Emporia 23.33 5,442 4.3x 39.0x
19 Front Royal 23.33 15,077 4.1x 53.3x
20 Herndon 24.0 24,532 4.0x 61.6x
21 Winchester 24.33 27,897 4.2x 55.8x
22 Franklin 24.67 8,147 4.1x 47.0x
23 Vienna 25.0 16,489 4.6x 77.5x
24 Dumfries 25.0 5,373 3.2x 39.0x
25 Buena Vista 25.67 6,484 3.9x 40.8x
26 Newport News 26.33 179,673 3.6x 50.3x
27 Virginia Beach 28.33 450,201 3.7x 56.0x
28 Culpeper 28.33 18,342 3.9x 59.2x
29 Smithfield 30.0 8,367 4.2x 73.1x
30 Leesburg 30.0 52,994 3.8x 70.5x
31 Strasburg 30.67 6,609 3.8x 56.0x
32 Hampton 30.67 135,041 3.3x 50.3x
33 Waynesboro 31.33 22,140 3.9x 54.8x
34 Chesapeake 31.67 239,982 3.5x 61.5x
35 Portsmouth 31.67 95,097 3.3x 49.8x
36 Ashland 33.0 7,750 3.5x 55.4x
37 Suffolk 33.67 90,093 3.4x 62.4x
38 Hopewell 34.67 22,456 3.1x 44.1x
39 Purcellville 35.0 9,897 3.3x 97.4x
40 Bridgewater 35.67 6,032 3.7x 70.2x
41 Lynchburg 36.0 80,569 3.4x 54.2x
42 Colonial Heights 36.33 17,428 3.1x 52.6x
43 Poquoson 37.0 12,090 3.3x 79.5x
44 Petersburg 38.33 31,362 2.8x 40.8x
45 Abingdon 40.0 7,960 3.7x 66.3x
46 Marion 40.33 5,706 3.2x 51.5x
47 Richlands 41.33 5,368 2.8x 45.9x
48 Salem 42.0 25,317 3.2x 62.6x
49 Roanoke 42.33 99,229 3.1x 54.3x
50 Staunton 42.33 24,432 3.2x 61.1x
51 Christiansburg 44.67 22,163 3.1x 66.9x
52 Bristol 46.0 16,912 3.0x 54.6x
53 Martinsville 46.33 12,852 2.6x 52.4x
54 Wytheville 47.0 7,957 3.3x 74.7x
55 South Boston 47.67 7,762 3.1x 63.1x
56 Danville 49.0 41,070 2.4x 54.5x
57 Galax 50.0 6,517 2.9x 58.5x
58 Vinton 50.67 8,083 3.0x 68.4x
59 Big Stone Gap 53.0 5,257 2.7x 68.1x
60 Pulaski 54.0 8,799 2.4x 66.4x
61 Covington 56.67 5,598 1.8x 65.7x

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.