SW Wisconsin Land Sales Update: 1st Qtr Sales and Prices Make A U-Turn

By: Jay Frazier

The rural land market seems to have turned the corner and given the numbers for 1st quarter it might be more accurate to say it’s made a U-turn. If you’ve been waiting to buy until the market hits bottom, you may have missed the opportunity.

Total transactions are up 114% compared to the same time period of last year. The mild winter with very little snow cover no doubt played a part in this increase although this continues the trend we noticed in the 4th quarter of 2011.

One noticeable difference during the 1st quarter of this year is that the average price per acre increased 10% compared to a year ago. I was involved in several of these transactions that weren’t necessarily arms-length deals and one large cropland* parcel in Lafayette county plays into the mix here. It will be interesting to see if sale prices are still showing an increase at the end of 2nd quarter. Having said that, I think any increase at all in price-per-acre when you have this many transactions is a sign that the market is past the bottom and on the rise.

*Cropland continues to bring a significantly higher price-per-acre than other types of rural land.

Below is a summary of land sales by county. (data from SCWMLS)

GRANT 1st Quarter LAFAYETTE 1st Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 9 5 # of sales 3 6
total acres sold 705 233 total acres sold 228 358
Tillable acres 272 193 Tillable acres 207 205
Wooded acres 288 16 Wooded acres 21 61
Pasture acres 138 22 Pasture acres 0 97
Wetland acres 1 0 Wetland acres 0 0
$/acre $3,346 $4,663 $/acre $6,053 $3,160
RICHLAND 1st Quarter SAUK 1st Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 9 1 # of sales 13 4
total acres sold 610 136 total acres sold 620 121
Tillable acres 151 136 Tillable acres 286 21
Wooded acres 445 0 Wooded acres 290 99
Pasture acres 15 0 Pasture acres 92 17
Wetland acres 0 0 Wetland acres 6 0
$/acre $2,501 $2,331 $/acre $3,255 $3,595
CRAWFORD 1st Quarter VERNON 1st Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 2 1 # of sales 3 2
total acres sold 93 79 total acres sold 922 122
Tillable acres 5 25 Tillable acres 642 62
Wooded acres 77 40 Wooded acres 225 56
Pasture acres 2 14 Pasture acres 0 0
Wetland acres 0 0 Wetland acres 0 0
$/acre $1,947 $2,088 $/acre $3,857 $2,869
IOWA 1st Quarter
2012 2011
# of sales 6 2
total acres sold 436 85
Tillable acres 200 63
Wooded acres 168 7
Pasture acres 84 66
Wetland acres 2 0
$/acre $3,844 $3,725

 

To learn more about the current market, begin your search here: Southwest-Wisconsin-Real-Estate.com

All data was taken from the SCWMLS and did not include residential lots or commercial land sales.

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