SW Wisconsin Land Sales Update: 3rd Quarter Sales Up But Prices Slip Slightly

By: Jay Frazier

This past summer will long be remembered for the drought that affected much of the country as well as the record high temperatures.  Perhaps this had some effect on land sales; but when studying the numbers for southwest Wisconsin, it doesn’t appear to have had much effect if any.  Last quarter we saw both the number of sales and the price per acre of rural land inch upward.  For 3rd quarter we still have increased sales, but the price per acre slipped about 5% over 2011 prices. It’s interesting to note that prices have declined slightly even since the beginning of this year so we are experiencing a dip in the road to recovery as far as prices go.

3rd Qtr Sales Graph

Land buyers continue to be much more active this year than last.  Five of the seven counties in this area saw an increase in the number of sales with Grant County leading the way.  Overall land transactions are up 47% for the 3rd quarter compared to the same period last year.

Only Vernon County realized an increase in price per acre for the 3rd quarter.  The other 6 counties studied experienced a decline in price per acre. An interesting side note to pricing involves the list to sale price ratio.  As the number of sales goes up, so has the list to sale ratio from 89% to 92%.  I think this reflects the willingness of sellers to bring their asking price more in line with current market conditions.  Buyers have spoken loud and clear with their dollars during the first 3 quarters of this year.  They are ready, willing, and able to buy parcels that represent a good value.

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

GRANT 3rd Quarter LAFAYETTE 3rd Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 10 1 # of sales 3 2
total acres sold 923 22 total acres sold 99 391
Tillable acres 381 0 Tillable acres 0 302
Wooded acres 492 22 Wooded acres 43 50
Pasture acres 90 0 Pasture acres 49 0
Wetland acres 0 0 Wetland acres 7 0
$/acre $2,839 $2,954 $/acre $3,051 $3,519
RICHLAND 3rd Quarter SAUK 3rd Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 5 6 # of sales 5 4
total acres sold 277 822 total acres sold 562 149
Tillable acres 36 380 Tillable acres 145 55
Wooded acres 231 391 Wooded acres 367 92
Pasture acres 10 57 Pasture acres 46 0
Wetland acres 0 0 Wetland acres 5 0
$/acre $2,580 $2,639 $/acre $3,200 $3,766
CRAWFORD 3rd Quarter VERNON 3rd Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 3 2 # of sales 4 6
total acres sold 158 242 total acres sold 155 267
Tillable acres 34 55 Tillable acres 40 65
Wooded acres 118 187 Wooded acres 115 191
Pasture acres 0 0 Pasture acres 0 6
Wetland acres 0 0 Wetland acres 0 2
$/acre $2,185 $2,310 $/acre $2,900 $2,400
IOWA 3rd Quarter TOTAL for all 7 COUNTIES 3rd Quarter
2012 2011 2012 2011
# of sales 4 2 # of sales 34 23
total acres sold 176 340 total acres sold 2350 2233
Tillable acres 49 182 Tillable acres 685 1039
Wooded acres 52 115 Wooded acres 1418 1048
Pasture acres 57 29 Pasture acres 252 92
Wetland acres 18 0 Wetland acres 30 2
$/acre $3,892 $4,217 Avg $/acre $2,950 $3,115

 

To learn more about the current land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: RuralPropertyPro.com

All data was taken from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 15 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included.

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