Final year-end results indicate that 2015 Texas land market price trends slowed considerably. Annual gains with a statewide price of $2,440 per acre, posted a weak 0.9 percent increase from 2014 prices. However since the 1.4 percent decline in 2010, Texas markets have managed to increase at a 6 percent annual compound rate of growth. Never-the-less, the year-end annual appreciation barely matched inflation for the year registering no appreciation in real terms. Fourth quarter market prices weakened contributing to this lackluster performance. The 110-acre typical size indicates that sales at the small end of the spectrum dominated the 5,176 sales.
Following those disappointing results, at $2,496 per acre, the first quarter of 2016 statewide preliminary price increased 2.3 percent over 2015 prices. That price also represented a 4.1 percent increase over first quarter 2015 results. That amounts to a 2.8 percent increase after adjusting for inflation. However, the level of activity in both the number of sales and total acres sold fell short when compared to the previous three quarters. That suggests that prices have moved up, but buyers have opted to buy fewer acres at that new price level. Overall, the Texas land market appears to be searching for a new trend. Perhaps putting the election behind us will reduce uncertainty and clarify market inclinations. Regionally, the Central Texas Austin-Waco-Hill Country area saw prices rise moderately. Meanwhile, the Eagle Ford Shale-dominated South Texas market registered small declines.