Overall land sales rose over two percent in 2019 in all categories, according to the 2019 Land Market Survey, a joint survey conducted by the Realtors Land Institute and the National Association of Realtors. Boosted by low interest rates and increased demand for houses, the residential sector specifically did quite well with the largest year-over-year increase at 2.9 percent. Land for recreation and industrial followed with the next largest growth in sales. For 2020, experts expect sales to rise but land appreciation to slow due to zoning regulations and issues obtaining financing.
The dollar volume of land sales and land prices per acre rose across all land types during the 12-month period of October 2018–September 2019, according to land estate agents who participated in the 2019 Land Market Survey, a joint survey conducted by the REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS®. Respondents expect a modest increase in land sales but somewhat slower land price appreciation in 2020. Zoning regulations and obtaining financing were cited as major issues affecting land transactions.
Land Sales Trend and Prices in 2019
Dollar sales volume rose on average by 2.2% for all types of land during the reference period of October 2018–September 2019 compared to one year ago. Residential land sales had the largest year-over-year increase, at 2.9%. Residential land sales received a boost from the decline in mortgage rates in 2019 in the wake of three federal funds rate reductions in 2019 that resulted in a total interest rate cut of 0.75%. Land for recreational use (e.g. hunting, fishing, camping ) also showed a strong growth of 2.7%. Land for recreational use is associated with the sale of vacation homes. Land for industrial and office/retail use rose 2.4%. The demand for industrial land is associated with the demand for warehouse and logistics arising from the growth of e-commerce, as well as for manufacturing. Agricultural non-irrigated land posted the slowest sales growth of 1.5% as agricultural land sales continue to be impacted by the slump in prices of food commodities, livestock and cattle, and logs/lumber/timber.