These Are The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In Virginia For 2019


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

Join HomeSnacks
Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the most expensive places to live in Virginia.

Swipe left for slideshow. Article continues below.

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 2019.

So where is the most expensive place to live in Virginia? That would be Blacksburg.

So hopefully Pulaski (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 2019

Blacksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 44,079
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 7.2x (1st most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 38.6x (3rd most expensive)
More on Blacksburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Blacksburg is an incorporated town in Montgomery County, Virginia, United States, with a population of 42,620 at the 2010 census. Blacksburg is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of Virginia Tech.

The median income in Blacksburg comes in at $39,910 and the median home value is $286,500 for 2019.

Williamsburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 14,817
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.6x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 48.8x (14th most expensive)
More on Williamsburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Williamsburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,068. In 2014, the population was estimated to be 14,691.

The median income in Williamsburg comes in at $54,606 and the median home value is $307,000 for 2019.

Lexington, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,113
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 47.5x (12th most expensive)
More on Lexington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Lexington is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 7,042. It is the county seat of Rockbridge County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Lexington with Rockbridge County for statistical purposes. Lexington is about 57 miles east of the West Virginia border and is about 50 miles north of Roanoke, Virginia. It was first settled in 1777.

The median income in Lexington comes in at $37,309 and the median home value is $252,500 for 2019.

Fredericksburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,135
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 6.0x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 51.0x (24th most expensive)
More on Fredericksburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fredericksburg is an independent city located in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Eastern United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,286, up from 19,279 at the 2000 census. The city population was estimated at 28,118 in 2015. The Bureau of Economic Analysis of the United States Department of Commerce combines the city of Fredericksburg with neighboring Spotsylvania County for statistical purposes.

The median income in Fredericksburg comes in at $57,258 and the median home value is $341,200 for 2019.

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 220,892
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.9x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.0x (5th most expensive)
More on Richmond: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond Region. It was incorporated in 1742, and has been an independent city since 1871.

The median income in Richmond comes in at $42,356 and the median home value is $209,200 for 2019.

Woodstock, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,169
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.5x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 46.1x (8th most expensive)
More on Woodstock: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Woodstock is a town in Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States. It has a population of 5,097 according to the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Shenandoah County.

The median income in Woodstock comes in at $36,104 and the median home value is $199,600 for 2019.

Charlottesville, VA

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 46,487
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.3x (20th most expensive)
More on Charlottesville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Charlottesville, colloquially known as Cville by locals, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a Charlottesville resident will list the City of Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with the County of Albemarle for statistical purposes, bringing its steadily growing population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson counties.

The median income in Charlottesville comes in at $54,739 and the median home value is $277,800 for 2019.

Alexandria, VA

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 154,710
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 5.8x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 56.1x (38th most expensive)
More on Alexandria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 139,966, and in 2016, the population was estimated to be 155,810. Located along the western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately 7 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

The median income in Alexandria comes in at $93,370 and the median home value is $537,900 for 2019.

Franklin, VA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,334
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.8x (10th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 45.8x (7th most expensive)
More on Franklin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Franklin is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,582. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Franklin with Southampton County for statistical purposes.

The median income in Franklin comes in at $38,760 and the median home value is $186,100 for 2019.

Winchester, VA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,516
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.6x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 50.7x (22nd most expensive)
More on Winchester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,203. As of 2015, its population is an estimated 27,284. It is the county seat of Frederick County, although the two are separate jurisdictions. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Winchester with surrounding Frederick County for statistical purposes.

The median income in Winchester comes in at $49,330 and the median home value is $226,200 for 2019.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Old Dominion For 2019

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 2013-2017 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 62 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.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In Virginia For 2019

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. Pulaski
  2. Big Stone Gap
  3. Marion

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 5.67 44,079 7.2x 38.6x
2 Williamsburg 10.5 14,817 5.6x 48.8x
3 Lexington 11.0 7,113 6.8x 47.5x
4 Fredericksburg 12.0 28,135 6.0x 51.0x
5 Richmond 12.67 220,892 4.9x 45.0x
6 Woodstock 13.33 5,169 5.5x 46.1x
7 Charlottesville 14.0 46,487 5.1x 50.3x
8 Alexandria 15.33 154,710 5.8x 56.1x
9 Franklin 16.67 8,334 4.8x 45.8x
10 Winchester 18.67 27,516 4.6x 50.7x
11 Falls Church 18.67 13,843 6.5x 64.7x
12 Fairfax 19.0 23,580 4.7x 59.3x
13 Harrisonburg 19.67 53,064 4.6x 50.2x
14 Norfolk 19.67 245,752 4.1x 47.0x
15 Farmville 20.0 8,452 4.6x 46.5x
16 Manassas 21.83 41,379 4.0x 53.9x
17 Warrenton 22.33 9,854 4.4x 57.1x
18 Culpeper 22.67 17,882 4.0x 51.2x
19 Radford 22.67 17,380 4.5x 46.3x
20 Emporia 23.0 5,495 4.2x 37.2x
21 Manassas Park 24.33 16,117 3.3x 48.4x
22 Herndon 24.67 24,545 3.8x 59.4x
23 Vienna 25.67 16,474 4.6x 78.8x
24 Virginia Beach 25.67 450,057 3.8x 54.4x
25 Front Royal 27.33 15,027 3.9x 53.4x
26 Hampton 27.33 136,255 3.6x 49.0x
27 Dumfries 28.5 5,216 3.0x 40.7x
28 Waynesboro 29.0 21,620 3.8x 50.4x
29 Newport News 29.5 180,775 3.7x 51.9x
30 Leesburg 31.0 51,015 3.7x 70.6x
31 Portsmouth 31.67 95,536 3.5x 49.3x
32 Ashland 31.67 7,554 3.8x 54.5x
33 Lynchburg 32.33 79,237 3.7x 50.3x
34 Chesapeake 32.33 235,410 3.6x 60.1x
35 Petersburg 32.67 32,037 3.3x 38.5x
36 Smithfield 34.0 8,262 3.8x 76.6x
37 Poquoson 34.33 12,022 3.6x 75.3x
38 Buena Vista 34.83 6,495 3.3x 45.4x
39 Bridgewater 35.33 5,930 3.8x 69.6x
40 Purcellville 36.0 9,217 3.4x 97.1x
41 Suffolk 36.0 88,057 3.5x 62.9x
42 Abingdon 37.0 8,044 4.2x 62.5x
43 Strasburg 37.0 6,570 3.5x 59.9x
44 Colonial Heights 37.67 17,582 3.2x 50.9x
45 Staunton 39.67 24,273 3.5x 57.6x
46 Hopewell 39.67 22,353 3.0x 49.0x
47 Roanoke 42.0 99,572 3.2x 53.5x
48 Wytheville 42.67 8,041 3.7x 78.1x
49 Galax 44.0 6,788 3.4x 54.0x
50 Salem 44.0 25,521 3.2x 61.8x
51 Vinton 46.33 8,069 3.2x 62.5x
52 South Boston 46.5 7,887 3.2x 56.8x
53 Bristol 46.67 17,077 3.0x 55.2x
54 Christiansburg 48.0 21,892 3.0x 71.4x
55 Richlands 48.33 5,513 3.0x 52.5x
56 Martinsville 49.0 13,256 2.7x 52.3x
57 Covington 50.0 5,675 2.0x 51.7x
58 Danville 52.33 41,911 2.6x 55.7x
59 Bluefield 53.33 5,058 2.8x 70.4x
60 Marion 54.33 5,814 2.9x 62.7x
61 Big Stone Gap 54.67 5,395 2.7x 63.9x
62 Pulaski 56.33 8,860 2.7x 67.6x

Like HomeSnacks on Facebook: