Feb 20, 2024 - News

More Northern Virginians are moving to Richmond and Winchester

A chart showing migration from Northern Virginia to Richmond growing over time.

The migration of folks out of NoVa and into Richmond through 2021. Image: Courtesy of UVA's Weldon Cooper Center

More data is out to solidify the trend of Northern Virginians leaving for smaller metros and rural areas elsewhere in the state, according to a report by UVA's Weldon Cooper Center.

The big picture: As people continue to work remotely and DMV housing prices remain high, many locals are relocating to smaller and less expensive areas in Virginia says the study, which is based on county and city population estimates.

State of play: Northern Virginia has seen the highest out-migration rate per capita this decade out of all the state's metro areas, says the report.

  • Both Fairfax County and Alexandria City saw their populations decline between 2020 and 2023 thanks to out-migration, according to the report.
  • And only 11 more people moved into Loudoun County last year than departed — meanwhile, the county was seeing about 10,000 more residents arrive than leave a decade ago.

The intrigue: Many NoVa people are headed to the Winchester and Richmond metro areas, says the report, contributing to a resident boom in both regions.

  • Richmond's seen a historic influx of new residents over the past three years.
  • And the four counties that saw the biggest population percentage jumps between 2022 and 2023 were all in the Richmond metro area's vicinity (New Kent, Goochland, Louisa, and Caroline).
  • Meanwhile, Winchester was the state's fastest-growing metro area during that period, seeing a 4.6% population increase — almost five times that of the state as a whole.

Zoom in: The median sales price for a home in Winchester and Richmond was $395,000 as of December, says Redfin.

  • Compare that to the $602,500 median sales price for a D.C. home during the same month.

What we're watching: The DMV's largest employer — the federal government — hasn't enforced an across-the-board plan when it comes to getting employees back into the office, despite pleas from Mayor Bowser and the White House.

  • Should a federal office policy be enacted — or abandoned for good — it would likely continue to affect where D.C. workers choose to live.
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