Land prices are spiking across the country, and one economist calls it one of the hottest commodities in existence today. Some parts of the country experience the demand for land most intensely, and those locations are the new housing hot spots. Realtor.com says undeveloped land prices have reached heights unseen before, and many of the areas feature vibrant economies, making it a prime location for homeowners to relocate. In the metro where land prices have increased the most, average price-per-square-foot advanced by 92% between the first half of 2020 and the first half of 2021.
1. North Port/Sarasota, FL
Average price-per-square foot increase: 92%
Median price per square foot for land: $2.52
As housing prices have skyrocketed in Florida’s coveted tricounty area (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach), many longtime South Florida locals have either been priced out or decided to cash in and take advantage of their ability to work remotely.
Relocations from the tricounty area to more affordable locales on the west coast and in the central part of the state have ticked up 108%, according to Fort Lauderdale–based moving company Bekins South.
Now areas like North Port and Sarasota are getting more expensive, and local builders are sweating it out to meet demand. Some buyers are even getting their own plots and attempting to find a contractor to build for them—no easy task in the current market where contractors, laborers, and materials are in short supply, says Sharon Rodgers, a Realtor® with Michael Saunders & Co. But there are new developments going up all around the metro. In Port Charlotte, right next to the North Port border, buyers are snatching up future builds such as this three-bedroom home asking $314,900.
“We have a lot of builders in the area, and at this point, they’re inundated with contracts to build homes 18 months to two years out,” says Rodgers. “A year ago it was nine months.”