The Answer to “How’s The Market?” Is Still “It Depends”.

It’s December 14th, 2020 as I write this – the year that seemed to never end is almost, finally, over. Which begs the question – what’s real estate in the New River Valley going to look like in 2021?

Here at Nest Realty, we’re hard at work on our Annual Report, our Nest Report, which should be out around the middle of Q1. If you’re interested in previous years, you can find those at But while we crunch the numbers and compile the graphs, we’re already hard at work thinking about what’s to come.

Last week we held our Nest Summit. It’s an annual event where we bring all of our offices together to talk about real estate, to dive into improving our processes for agents and clients alike, and plan for the future. This year’s Summit was a virtual event, of course, but it was kicked off by Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors Chief Economist. Most people’s eyes might glaze over when talk turns to economics, but I find it really interesting – and Dr. Yun has proven over the years to be a clear-eyed voice in the real estate economics space, so we were lucky to have him. You can download his slides here.

The question we’re always asked is “how’s the market?”. And the answer should always be “it depends”. It’s never a great time to both buy and sell a home, the two things work inverse of each other. However, after listening to Dr. Yun, and participating in a call with Altos Research later in the week, here’s what I’d expect in 2020:

  • GDP growth will be north of 3%
  • Unemployment will be lower (currently 6.9%)
  • 30-year mortgage rates will average 3% for the year

So what’s that mean for real estate in the New River Valley? Well … if this cloudy crystal ball is correct, it’s going to mean that housing will still be in short supply here in the NRV – we simply don’t have enough builders building affordable housing (for purposes of discussion let’s call that sub-$300k). Lack of supply = higher demand, driven in part by still really low interest rates.

Assuming 2021 sees an end to this pandemic and things begin to swing back to some sort of “normalcy”, whatever that means, the real estate market in the NRV looks to be alive and thriving, if you’re a seller or current owner. The road ahead may be tough for buyers, but the opportunities are there, and working with experienced, full-time agents who specialize in your search, can make all the difference.

Our 2020 Annual Market Report, the Nest Report, will be available in Q1 2021. If you’d like to be sure you get a copy, email us at and we’ll reserve you a copy. See previous years at

Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash

** Update – here’s what the Virginia Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Dr. Lisa Sturtevant is forecasting:

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