Virginia Beach sits at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at the southern end of the Mid-Atlantic region. The city is situated on 249 square miles of coastal territory, including 38 miles of beaches, making it a major regional tourist destination. It is the largest city in the state of Virginia, with an estimated 451,000 people as of 2014, up from 438,000 according to the last census in 2010. The median household income in Virginia Beach is roughly $67,000, and it has an owner-occupied housing rate of 64.1%. As of April 2016, the median price for residential property in the city is $238,500, down slightly from prerecession highs around $250,000 set between 2006 and 2008.

Market Insights

While Virginia Beach did not experience a major real estate crash in the wake of the 2007-2008 financial crisis, the market did enter a period of moderate price decline that extended for several years. Apart from a short-lived market peak in summer 2010, the median home price in Virginia Beach trended down from the $250,000 level in 2008 to market lows around $225,000 in 2011 and winter 2012. Sales volumes during the period plummeted from summer highs above 3,000 homes per month during the prerecession boom, to highs below 1,500 homes per month in the post-crisis market.

A period of price growth returned to the Virginia Beach market in spring 2012, with the median price level reaching $248,000 in September. In the years since, median prices have consistently peaked in the late-summer buying season at around $250,000, before softening in the winter months to around $235,000. Not surprisingly, sales volumes follow a similar pattern, peaking in late summer at around 1,600 homes per month, and slowing to a rate around 1,000 homes per month in the winter. Winter in Virginia Beach is a buyer's market for residential real estate.

Property and Transfer Taxes

For the tax year beginning on July 1, 2016, Virginia Beach imposed a standard property tax rate of 99 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Since Virginia Beach is an independent city operating apart from any county government, property owners in the city pay no county-level taxes. Properties located within one of the nine special service districts within the city are subjected to additional taxes above the standard rate. For example, homes located in the Sandbridge neighborhood on the southern coast of Virginia Beach are charged additional taxes of six cents per $100 of assessed property value to pay for localized dredging services. Residential property in Virginia Beach is assessed annually at fair market value as determined by the city real estate assessor.

The state of Virginia levies a 0.1% transfer tax on the value of all real estate transactions in the state in addition to a recordation tax of 0.25%. Virginia Beach does not impose a local transfer tax or a recordation tax.

Most Expensive Neighborhoods

Virginia Beach's most expensive neighborhoods sit closest to its shorelines. Neighborhoods in the 23451 ZIP code, which extends along the city's coastline south of First Landing State Park and east of Naval Air Station Oceana, combined to produce a median sale price of $372,000 in March 2016. In the southeast quadrant of the city, the shoreline neighborhood of Sandbridge and nearby inland neighborhoods in the 23456 ZIP code recorded a median sale price of $324,000. Neighborhoods in the 23455 ZIP code, which cluster around the Bayside area at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in north Virginia Beach, produced a median sales price of $305,000.

Top Real Estate Websites

Apart from national real estate websites and online marketing websites maintained by local real estate agents, there are few specialty websites targeted at homebuyers in Virginia Beach. The Virginian-Pilot, the area's leading newspaper, maintains an informative real estate news and analysis section on its website at Alongside insightful coverage of market trends affecting the Virginia Beach area, the website also provides local home listings. Although targeted primarily at real estate agents, the Virginia Association of Realtors is a great source for free real estate market reports and statistics covering Virginia Beach and cities across the state. Its website is

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