Which Richmond-area neighborhoods were the hottest in 2020?

Coming in second for highest increase in home sales year over year was Giles, a nearly 450-home development taking shape in Hanover’s Atlee area by East West Communities and developer Willie Goode. (BizSense file photos)

While faster sales and shrinking inventory have been the story for the region’s housing market over the course of the pandemic, certain parts of metro Richmond garnered more interest than others from homebuyers over the past year.

Numbers from the Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service show that, from March 2020 to February 2021, Hanover County saw the biggest percentage jump in total home sales compared to the 12 months prior to the pandemic’s arrival. It’s a result that’s consistent with regional statistics showing rural counties outpacing more suburban and urban areas.

Hanover saw a 21 percent jump with 2,156 sales, an increase of 376 sales over the 12-month period from March 2019 to February 2020.

However, it was Chesterfield County that led the pack in total sales, with 7,487 homes sold over the last 12 months — an increase over the previous 12 months of 689 sales, or just over 10 percent.

Richmond and Henrico County saw slimmer increases, with the city counting 50 more sales for a pandemic-year total of 3,336, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous 12 months. Henrico saw 52 more sales to reach 5,250, a 1 percent increase.

Within city limits, the West End — Area 20 in the CVRMLS — saw the biggest percentage increase with 446 sales over the course of the pandemic, a 6 percent increase with 26 more sales. Northside (Area 30) followed with a 5 percent increase, with 29 more homes sold for a total of 602.

Area 10, which stretches from Carytown to Church Hill and includes the densely populated Fan and Museum districts, rose 2 percent with 25 more sales for a total of 1,176.

And across the river, Area 60 — stretching from Manchester to Bon Air generally northwest of Hull Street/Route 360 — also increased 2 percent with 17 more sales for a total of 781.

The rest of the city’s Southside went in a negative direction, with Area 50 — southeast of Hull Street/Route 360 — dropping 12 percent with 47 fewer sales since March 2020. It totaled 331, compared to 378 the previous 12 months.

A line graph shows home sales activity over the past two years in the counties and in the city’s individual MLS areas. (CVRMLS image)

Subdivisions with biggest surge in new home sales

In terms of new home construction, data from research firm Integra Realty Resources shows which subdivisions in metro Richmond had the highest increase in new home sales year over year.

Silverleaf, a community off Hopkins Road in Chesterfield developed by locally based TerraForge Communities, experienced the sharpest rise in homes sold during calendar year 2020 (January-December) compared to 2019, Integra found.

Silverleaf had 92 more sales, with 149 in 2020 compared to 57 in 2019. The community is planned to total 650 homes, with HHHunt Homes and Ryan Homes building the mix of detached houses and townhomes. The average sale price in 2020 was $272,787.

Coming in second was Giles, a nearly 450-home development taking shape in Hanover’s Atlee area by East West Communities and developer Willie Goode. The neighborhood, which likewise consists of houses and townhomes by HHHunt and Ryan, sold 69 more homes in 2020 for a total of 113, with an average sale price of about $391,500.

The third-highest sales increase was seen at Watermark, a Chesterfield community off Iron Bridge Road that sold 65 more homes for a total of 88, with an average sale price of about $325,000. D.R. Horton and Eastwood Homes are builders there along with HHHunt and Ryan.

Wistar Glen is taking shape on Wistar Road off West Broad Street.

Fourth place went to Wistar Glen, a Stanley Martin Homes development in Henrico that’s planned for 136 condos and 24 townhomes. The Reston-based builder sold 49 units in 2020 at an average price of about $281,000. No units were sold in 2019, as construction started last year.

Coming in fifth was Lakeside Landing, another Stanley Martin development in Henrico beside the Brook Run shopping center on Brook Road. Planned for 88 condominiums and 42 townhomes, Lakeside Landing sold 48 more homes for a total of 86, at an average price of $265,000.

Thomas Tyler, director of housing markets at Integra’s Richmond office, noted that, in the case of Wistar Glen, the increase was due to construction activity commencing in 2020, whereas Silverleaf and Watermark were developed years ago but saw a surge in sales last year.

Construction in Mosaic at West Creek got underway last year.

Subdivisions with the highest increase in vacant lot sales in 2020 were Brickshire in New Kent, with 71 more sales for a total of 128; Wescott in Chesterfield (59 sales in 2020, compared to none the year before prior to construction); Mosaic at West Creek in Goochland (64 sales, compared to five the year before); Maury Heights in Caroline County (66 sales, compared to nine the year before); and Silverleaf (146 sales, 57 more than in 2019).

The biggest increase in building permits was seen at Watermark, with 137 permits in 2020 compared to 38 in 2019, an increase of 99. Wescott got 88 permits, compared to zero the year before. Silverleaf had 167, an increase of 81. Wistar Glen had 82, an increase of 70. And Kensington Meadows in Henrico had 55 permits, compared to one in 2019.

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