Land Market Survey

The results are in from our 2016 Land Market Outlook survey. Nearly 1,000 land buyers, sellers, and brokers sent in their assessment of the current and future of land markets. Land buyers and sellers were in agreement for every question presented and remained optimistic as a whole towards the future of land markets. The questions included the assessment of land values, both near-term and long-term, land inventory on the market, and expected sales. These results have been broken out by state for more regional insight into buyer and seller differences. A full report will be available for download soon, this is just a partial result set. Thank you to all who participated!
Land Values Increase
Just more than half of land buyers and sellers predict an increase in land values over the next six months, with the southern states seeing the most confidence and overlap. Buyers foresee an increase up through most of the Midwest, while land sellers are focused on the Southeast, Montana, Idaho, and Nevada. Several states (in pink) have been excluded from price increases either due to low numbers of respondents, or split results. It is important to note that some states may show both a projected increase and decrease in values because of different opinions from buyers and sellers.

The land values of hunting properties in Michigan have been basically flat for past 3 years. Have seen increase in farm ground, but would think that will be dropping soon due to lower commodity price.”
-Land Broker from Michigan


Land Values Decrease
It was clear that the north was where price decreases in the next six months were most likely to take place, although land buyers and sellers didn’t agree on which states would see the decrease. Arizona was the lone standout in the southern US with both buyers and sellers agreeing on a near-term land value decrease, and Louisiana favored to see a decrease by buyers. This was the clearest line of distinction in the series, even with the separation between groups.

With lower grain and livestock prices, I look for set back in land values. I think this trend will continue for a year or so. Could be a good buying opportunity.
-Land Seller from Kansas

Beans aren’t $18 any more. Corn isn’t $8 any more. This causes people to sober up a little. The return isn’t what it was.
– Land Seller from Arkansas


Land Values Increase
A greater majority of respondents predicted an increase in prices over the next 12 months, up approximately 3% over the first 6 months. Although more scattered, there was much more of a consensus between land buyers and sellers on which states would see land price increases in the next 12 months. A full 16 states had price increase agreement between groups, while only 15 states were missing a majority vote or stalemated among respondents. Louisiana and Arizona were the only two in the south which didn’t foresee a 12 month price increase.

Sellers are still in the 2006-2007 mindset. Buyers are still looking for bargains. I see unrest in the land market, a wait and see for buyers.
-Land Broker from Georgia


Land Values Decrease
While a larger majority of both buyers and sellers predict an increase in prices overall, a few states bucked that trend. Louisiana, Arizona, and South Dakota all were predicted to have lower prices over 12 months by both buyers and sellers. The rest were fragmented among various regions, split by land buyers and sellers, but found primarily in the Midwest and Northwest.

We have seen the best there is behind us. As incomes drop, potential buyers drop and values will follow.
-Land Buyer from Texas

Land Markets in general, will stabilize, but where there are areas of more leverage the price of farm land will decrease. There are buyers to buy at lower prices.
-Land Broker from Montana


Land Inventory on Market
Both land buyers and sellers strongly agreed that there would be an increase of land on the market in the next 12 months with about two-thirds of respondents predicting an increase in market inventory. Since there were far fewer states showing a decrease, it made sense to highlight them for a clearer picture. Only a few scattered states had more respondents predicting a decrease in of land properties over this year, with the only overlap for buyers and sellers landing in Arkansas.

Lower quality farms are beginning to come to the market. Thus prices will appear to fall more than the real market.
-Land Broker from Arkansas

The market will face a tough time as the number of premium properties decrease.
-Land Buyer from Oklahoma

While we were very happy to have nearly 1,000 responses, this low number limits the statistical significance of the survey, especially in the regional data. This survey does not reflect actual market conditions or influences, and should only be used as a representation of market sentiment from those surveyed. Subscribe to our Market Reports Newsletter to keep up on market conditions in your area.

Real estate will continue to become a good asset for investors to include and to hold in their investment portfolio.
-Land Buyer from Texas

Do you share their opinion, or do you have a different take on the market? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • John M. Dean, Jr., ALC, CIPS

    The MS Delta region over the past12 months has seen the smallest number of quality farms come to market in over 30 years. Little motivation from sellers yet. Continued low commodity prices and somewhat reduction in rents may generate more brokerage activity after 1st Q 2016.

  • Lynn Parr

    As a land broker & appraiser in southwest Oklahoma, we are seeing land prices rise over the past 12 months. This pressure on prices may level off with the lower price of oil, however that remains to be seen. Most of our land listings, unless over-priced, don’t last very long on the market.

  • Robert Moran, Broker

    The 50% fall in oil prices is still to be fully absorbed by the land market. When coupled with low commodity prices the impact of this very large drop in economic power in the oil industry indicates that a very tentative time is on the near horizon for land markets nationwide. Another factor to concern land markets is the noise coming from the Federal Reserve regarding an impending rise in interest rates. When the cost of raw materials such as oil and corn drop as they have, I would ask, where are the indicators of inflation that the Fed is so concerned about that they would employ such a policy? Perhaps the very definition of inflation does not include some very important parameters that it should. What confuses the logic of this observation is why should Americans that save or have discretionary cash capital be cheated out of a reasonable alternative to invest their money simply because the government wants to continue to spend low or no cost money they (we) don’t have. Re: Treasury borrowing rates below 1%.

  • Robert W. Neill, Jr, Real Estate Broker

    There is a tremendous amount of global capital that will seek quality deals. With the world having a finite supply of productive land, the long term outlook for land prices is likely to be good.

  • Jay LaCoste

    I am a land owner and I just got my tax bill my property value has gone down and my taxes have gone up so I expect land values in Tennessee to continue going down over the next few years

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