Slow But Steady Rural Land Market

SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

Similar to a year ago, there was a lull in rural land market activity during the 3rd quarter in southwestern Wisconsin. At first glance, the sold prices for 3rd quarter make the land market look like it is in the doldrums (compared to the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2016). This is mostly due to the fact that about half of the region didn’t have enough sales to establish any kind of a trend. This pattern of a strong first half of the year, followed by a slower third quarter has held true for three years in a row.

3rd qtr land market update image

Current Market Characteristics

  • Buyers are patient

Buyers are not quite as excited about purchasing land compared to the first half of the year. They are still looking for a fair price which no doubt factored into the lack of price increases during 3rd quarter.

  • Low Inventory Continues

Low inventory persists and we continue to see fewer than usual new properties coming on the market. Nice properties under 100 acres are selling quickly. The average parcel size that sold during 3rd quarter was 68 acres. Even larger parcels that are priced correctly get a lot of attention and spend much less time on the market than a year ago. This is a great time for landowners to put properties on the market.

  • Prices level

The number of sales dropped compared to 2nd quarter 2016 from 42 to 26 transactions. The average price per acre also declined from $3,484 to $3,181. However, it needs to be remembered that 3 of the 7 counties in the region didn’t have enough sales to establish a firm average. Richland County appears to be the best example of what the overall market is doing with level prices and a near even number of transactions.

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

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales*

Southwest Wisconsin 2nd & 3rd Qtr 2016
Grant Iowa Lafayette Sauk
2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr
# of sales 4 1 6 7 4 1 14 6
# acres 404 102 403 583 181 80 795 288
woods 197 63 232 212 104 3 393 185
tillable 113 39 142 307 11 77 341 37
pasture 90 0 25 53 59 0 53 66
wetland 0 0 3 0 7 0 0 0
avg $/acre $4,352 $2,173 $4,131 $3,936 $3,605 $4,688 $3,729 $3,253
Vernon Crawford Richland TOTAL
2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr
# of sales 6 5 3 2 5 4 42 26
# acres 337 205 153 276 208 229 2481 1763
woods 220 101 121 189 136 222 1403 975
tillable 96 67 19 64 60 1 782 592
pasture 21 37 12 16 10 1 270 173
wetland 0 0 0 5 0 0 10 5
avg $/acre $3,296 $2,502 $2,185 $2,628 $3,088 $3,084 $3,484 $3,181


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

*Free Land Market Reports are available for these SW Wisconsin Counties: Grant, Lafayette, Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Crawford, & Vernon
*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 Prices Holding Firm

SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

Little has changed in the rural land market during the 2nd quarter of 2016 in Southwest Wisconsin. The number of transactions was up over 1st quarter 2016 from 32 to 42 transactions. The average price per acre rose slightly from 1st quarter; however, the average parcel size came in at just 59 acres. This is quite a bit smaller than a year ago where the average was 102 acres. Smaller parcels tend to sell at a higher dollar per acre than larger parcels, so the general land market appears to be strong with prices holding firm.

Current Market Characteristics

  • Low Inventory Continues

For the past year there have been fewer nice properties on the market. For prime real estate, multiple offers are now fairly common. The stiff competition has triggered a few offers above list price which follows the trend in metro areas where buyers are desperate enough to add escalator clauses to their offers.

  • Prices are inching upward

Four of the seven counties saw an average price per acre increase over 1st quarter. The average price-per-acre went from $3,325 in the 1st quarter of this year to $3,484/acre in the 2nd quarter. When other market factors are figured in, this isn’t much of a gain, but neither is it a loss.

  • Sellers wait and see

The summer months are typically a little slower in the rural land market, but this year the trickle of fresh new listings has almost dried up. The uncertainty of the upcoming national election results might be influencing sellers to hold off. Also, the trends in urban real estate show a hot seller’s market, and some of the property owners I have talked to recently are waiting to list in hopes that this trend will reach the rural markets as well.

  • Buyers searching, waiting

The competition for rural land is heating up a bit. Buyers are actively searching for rural properties, many waiting for something suitable to come up for sale. In most cases they do their research and aren’t bidding on overpriced parcels. Properties priced correctly for the local market are moving quickly.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 12 Month Review

SW Wisconsin 2015 2015 2016 2016
3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter
# of transactions 36 42 32 42
# of acres sold 3670 3377 2296 2481
% of acres tillable 23% 27% 25% 32%
average $/acre $3,308 $3,133 $3,325 $3,484
 …
Avg $/acre by county 2015 2015 2016 2016
3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 1st Quarter 2nd Quarter
Grant $2,339 $3,026 $3,136 $4,352
Iowa $3,451 $3,855 $4,885 $4,131
Lafayette $6,364 $3,475 $3,475 $3,605
Sauk $3,737 $3,570 $3,684 $3,729
Richland $2,382 $2,582 $3,122 $3,088
Crawford $2,549 $2,677 $2,532 $2,185
Vernon $2,337 $2,745 $2,439 $3,296


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

Copy of SW WisconsinLand Market Update

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.

Lack of Inventory Holding Back the Land Market

SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

Quiet and steady best describes the 1st quarter 2016 land market in Southwest Wisconsin. The number of transaction was down from 4th quarter 2015 but was not unusual for a 1st quarter at 32 transactions. The average price per acre rose slightly from 4th quarter to end up at $3,325/acre.

Current Market Characteristics

  • Prices are slowly moving up

Four of the seven counties saw an average price per acre increase over 4th quarter. Those three that didn’t had very few transactions leaving us with not enough data to get a firm average price.

  • Low Inventory Continues

There continues to be very few nice properties on the market. When one does go up for sale, it gets a lot of attention often leading to multiple offers.

  • Sellers hesitate

Some sellers that have contacted me about selling are hesitating to actually put their property on the market. Land prices have increased steadily since 2013 and many have a wait-and-see attitude gambling that an even better market is in the future.

  • Buyers savvy and somewhat cautious

Buyers are actively searching for rural properties, but in most cases they do their research and aren’t willing to go way out on a limb to own it. Properties priced correctly for the local market are moving quickly.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 12 Month Review

 SW Wisconsin 2015 2015 2015 2016
2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 1st Quarter
# of transactions 37 36 42 32
# of acres sold 3162 3670 3377 2296
% of acres tillable 37% 23% 27% 25%
average $/acre $3,947 $3,308 $3,133 $3,325
Avg $/acre by county 2015 2015 2015 2016
2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter 1st Quarter
Grant $3,387 $2,339 $3,026 $3,136
Iowa $5,649 $3,451 $3,855 $4,885
Lafayette $6,364 $6,364 $3,475 $3,475
Sauk $4,098 $3,737 $3,570 $3,684
Richland $2,415 $2,382 $2,582 $3,122
Crawford $2,592 $2,549 $2,677 $2,532
Vernon $3,127 $2,337 $2,745 $2,439


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

SW Wisconsin Land Market Update 1st Qtr 2016

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 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.

 

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