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Land Market Strengthens at Close of 2015: SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

After a pause during 3rd quarter, the land market started making headway again during the 4th quarter of 2015 in Southwest Wisconsin.

4th Quarter 2015
The number of transactions was up 16% over 3rd quarter with 42 completed sales. Total acres sold remained about the same as 3rd quarter with 3,377 acres changing hands of which 27% was farmland.

2015 Land Transactions Graph

Five of the seven counties in SW Wisconsin saw an average price per acre increase when comparing the 3rd and 4th quarters. Sauk County’s average price per acre was down slightly due to buyers closing on larger parcels which usually effects a lower $/acre price. Lafayette County also averaged a lower sale price due to the sales being predominately recreational land rather than farm land. When studying the individual transactions in these two counties they show a steady to strengthening market.

During the 4th quarter SW Wisconsin had low property inventory. A good number of nice properties were sold and not many new listings came on the market. This tight market should push prices upward and encourage potential sellers to put their property on the market.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 2015 in Review

 12 month Review
2015 2015 2015 2015
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
# of transactions 30 37 36 42
# of acres sold 2272 3162 3670 3377
% of acres tillable 44% 37% 23% 27%
average $/acre $3,502 $3,947 $3,308 $3,133
 …
Avg $/acre 2015 2015 2015 2015
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Grant $3,228 $3,387 $2,339 $3,026
Iowa $4,778 $5,649 $3,451 $3,855
Lafayette $4,726 $6,364 $6,364 $3,475
Sauk $3,589 $4,098 $3,737 $3,570
Richland $2,591 $2,415 $2,382 $2,582
Crawford $2,684 $2,592 $2,549 $2,677
Vernon $2,914 $3,127 $2,337 $2,745


Land as a Long-Term Investment
Now that we are through the recession years, it is interesting to look back and see how far the land market has come. The average price per acre in Southwest Wisconsin has gone up 16% over 5 years. For those savvy enough to buy at the bottom in 2012, the average investment has increased in value about 18.5% over the last three years.

 5 Year Review – SW Wisconsin
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Avg $/acre $2,996 $2,929 $3,114 $3,260 $3,473


If you would like a more detailed land market report for your area (free), visit www.WisconsinLandValues.com for instructions on how to order.

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

SW WI Land Market Strengthens 4th Quarter 2015-2

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included.

Land Market Hits Pause: SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

After a record-breaking price gain during second quarter this year, the land market has paused to take a breath. The average price-per-acre for rural land in southwestern Wisconsin during the third quarter this year dropped 16% compared to second quarter ending up at $3,308/acre. In studying the details I find that this lower average price is (in most cases) a reflection of the type of properties that were sold during third quarter rather than a drop in value. The average parcel size was larger and the percentage of tillable land was significantly lower which affects the final $/acre in a transaction.

This plateau in the market follows the 2014 trend of higher prices during the first half of the year followed by a third quarter drop. If the market continues to follow last year’s trend we will see a nice price recovery in the fourth quarter. Current market activity indicates this is quite possible. The number of transactions during the third quarter remains fairly high at 36 as well as the number of acres sold at 3,670 (second quarter saw 37 transactions in which 3,162 acres sold).

3rd Quarter 2015 Land Price Trends chart

Iowa County and Grant County felt the strongest price correction which is likely due to larger parcel sizes and mostly recreational land being sold (and very little agricultural land.) Vernon County also felt the pinch with a 25% drop in the average price. One possible factor there could be the sale of several tracts of land with conservation easements which tend to hamper the value somewhat. The remaining four counties held the line on price in which any price changes can be attributed to the type of properties sold.

Average Price-per-acre by County

Avg $/acre 2014 2015 2015 2015
4th Quarter 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter
Grant $3,041 $3,228 $3,387 $2,339
Iowa $3,592 $4,778 $5,649 $3,451
Lafayette $5,820 $4,726 $6,364 $6,364
Sauk $3,190 $3,589 $4,098 $3,737
Richland $2,558 $2,591 $2,415 $2,382
Crawford $2,842 $2,684 $2,592 $2,549
Vernon $3,154 $2,914 $3,127 $2,337


If you would like a more detailed market report (free), visit www.WisconsinLandValues.com for instructions on how to order.

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included.

Land Price Average Hits New High: SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

I have been tracking land sale prices in southwestern Wisconsin for nearly five years; and in that time the average price per acre failed to rise above $3,900…until now. The second quarter of this year saw an area average of $3,947 per acre.

While rising prices are noteworthy, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that 3,162 acres changed hands during the second quarter. The last time that much land sold in the region during a quarter was two years ago. Also, the number of transactions (37) is up 23% over first quarter of this year and up 54% over the same time period a year ago. While it’s too soon to call this a boom market, the numbers seem to indicate the current tight market is heading in that direction.

2nd Quarter 2015 Land Prices Graph

Iowa and Lafayette Counties are leading the price gain due to their second quarter sales consisting of a high percentage of tillable land. Average sale prices in Grant, Sauk, Richland, and Vernon Counties have been holding steady for the past 12 months. Crawford County continues to struggle to make any price gains; but the number of acres sold there rose dramatically during the second quarter of this year.

Average Price-per-acre by County

Avg $/acre 2014 2014 2015 2015
3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter
Grant $3,232 $3,041 $3,228 $3,387
Iowa $2,895 $3,592 $4,778 $5,649
Lafayette $2,915 $5,820 $4,726 $6,364
Sauk $3,805 $3,190 $3,589 $4,098
Richland $2,374 $2,558 $2,591 $2,415
Crawford $2,927 $2,842 $2,684 $2,592
Vernon $2,746 $3,154 $2,914 $3,127


If you would like a more detailed market report (free), visit www.WisconsinLandValues.com for instructions on how to order.

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: www.Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included. Acreage breakdown may vary due to land remnants and other factors.

Strong Land Demand at Current Prices: SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

Winter weather always affects land buyer activity in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and less snow and milder temperatures definitely made it easier for buyers to tour parcels of interest during the first quarter of this year. In Southwest Wisconsin, buyers were quite active with 30 transactions completed involving 2,272 acres. The average price per acre increased 1.3% over 4th quarter but so did the number of tillable acres making the market appear flat at an average price per acre of $3,502.

SW WI Land Price Trends 1st qtr 2015 graph

When these numbers are added to the activity I see in my own business (such as a good number of buyer inquiries, offers written, etc.), this market could be described as a tight market. The spread between sale price and list price has narrowed considerably, but buyers are generally not stepping up to bid on overpriced properties. When this happens in conjunction with low inventory (which we also have right now), the market is poised for rising prices going forward. Yet, this tight market could hold for a while as I sense cautiousness among buyers. The recession is still fresh in everyone’s memory so it remains to be seen how soon prices will turn upward again.

Average Price-per-acre by County

Avg $/acre

2014
2nd Quarter

2014
3rd Quarter

2014
4th Quarter

2015
1st Quarter

Grant $4,334 $3,232 $3,041 $3,228
Iowa $3,669 $2,895 $3,592 $4,778
Lafayette $2,915 $2,915 $5,820 $4,726
Sauk $3,513 $3,805 $3,190 $3,589
Richland $2,032 $2,374 $2,558 $2,591
Crawford $2,721 $2,927 $2,842 $2,684
Vernon $4,636 $2,746 $3,154 $2,914


If you would like a more detailed free land market report, visit www.WisconsinLandValues.com for instructions on how to order.

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market; properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included.

 

Rural Land Market Steady at Close of 2014: SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

Looking back at the course of the SW Wisconsin rural land market throughout 2014 we see some ups and downs; but the big picture shows a land market that appears to be holding its own and making small gains.

4th Qtr 2014 SW Wisconsin Land Market Graph
2013 vs. 2014
A review of the year as a whole creates a picture of slow but steady growth in spite of volatility in some sectors. If you recall, in 2013 farmland was in great demand leading to 44% of all acres sold being tillable farmland. In 2014 grain prices dropped and so did the demand for farmland leading to a more normal average of 30% of acres sold being farmland. This played into the fact that 13% fewer total acres were sold in 2014 compared to the previous year and 12% fewer transactions were completed. However, the average price per acre for the entire year of 2014 grew 4.6% compared to 2013.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 2014 in Review

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
# of transactions 23 24 38 32
# of acres sold 1537 2367 2225 2610
% of acres tillable 44% 31% 19% 30%
average $/acre $3,195 $3,403 $2,985 $3,457


4th Quarter Price Rebound
During the 3rd quarter of 2014 the number of transactions jumped 58% over 2nd quarter while the average price per acre dropped mainly due to less farmland exchanging hands. 4th quarter numbers normalized somewhat with a few less transactions but more acres being sold of which 30% was farmland. Also, the average price per acre rebounded to $3,457.

Before everyone gets overly excited by this new high price, I need to point out that the average price per acre for 4th quarter is bolstered by a single large farmland parcel sold in Lafayette County for $5,820/acre. While this sale is significant and cannot be discounted in the rural land market, it’s wise to remember that one sale does not indicate a trend. A more accurate picture of SW Wisconsin rural land prices might be gained by calculating an average without this noteworthy transaction. This creates an average price per acre of $3,042 which is still above the 3rd quarter average price by 2%. Either way you look at it, the market trend points upward.

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included. Acreage breakdown may vary due to land remnants and other factors.

Buyers: Don’t Go It Alone

This message is for buyers looking for the perfect piece of property: Get a buyer’s agent to assist you!

I was reminded again today of how important that is.

Past clients invited me to view their new home that they just built on an acreage. The home is beautiful and their rural property is ideal for it. My clients commented again today about how close they had come to missing their perfect place.

Just about a year ago they closed on the property that was the goal of an 18 month search. As their buyer’s agent, I had shown them dozens of properties but nothing was quite what they were looking for. Then I saw a property come on the market that I knew was the right one. I sent the info to them with no response. A week or so later I sent it again and said that I thought they should see it. No response. Finally, I picked up the phone and asked them why they weren’t interested in it. They said that they didn’t like some of the features but having worked with them for so long, I really thought that they would like it. I went out on a limb and told them to drive out and look at it (they were over an hour away) and if they didn’t like it, I would buy their gas for the trip. Well, they decided that if I felt that strongly about it, they would make the drive. I’m sure you can guess the rest of the story… They loved it and now have a beautiful home overlooking a Driftless Area vista.

Driftless Area Winter Vista

I’m not telling this story to make myself look good but rather to make a point. If you as a buyer are just calling the listing agent for properties that you see on-line,  you will never build the relationship that allows an agent to really know you and give the service that I gave these folks. Had they been working with multiple agents, they would have missed their dream property. So pick an experienced agent in the area and property type that you’re looking for and build a relationship that lets him/her give you the service that you deserve.

Ten Years of Changes in Real Estate

We’re celebrating 10 years in real estate this month. That’s not very long really, but in that short time our business has changed from exclusively using newspaper ads to having nearly 100% of our contacts come through website ads. What will the next 10 years bring?

10 year REALTOR

One thing has remained constant throughout; our customers are the foundation of our success. This holiday season we say thank you to all of you that have placed your trust in us to assist you in completing your transaction. We are honored and humbled that you chose us. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

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