SW Wisconsin Land Sales Update: Prices Hold Steady in 4th Quarter

By Jay Frazier
Throughout the first three quarters of 2013 the average land sale price in SW Wisconsin made steadfast gains increasing 27.8% from January through September. Now that the 4th quarter has ended we can say that the land market finished the year on a much higher note than it began.

2012-2013 Land Price Comparison

In the 4th quarter of 2013 we saw the average price-per-acre slip about 2% from 3rd quarter ending up at $3,225. The slight dip in price could be due to less farmland being sold which usually has been bringing a higher price-per-acre than other types of land. Farmland comprised about 24% of the total acreage sold in the 4th quarter compared to the norm of 30-35%. This change in buyer activity may be influenced by lack of farmland availability, interest rates, or the lower commodity prices in the second half of 2013.

I think it is noteworthy that the number of transactions completed in the 4th quarter increased 46% over 3rd quarter and total acres sold increased 33% all while prices held mostly steady. This hike in buyer activity without losing the price gains made in the first three quarters suggests the southwest Wisconsin rural land market is pretty healthy going forward into 2014.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 3rd & 4th Quarters 2013

Grant Iowa Lafayette Sauk
3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr
# of sales* 6 6 4 5 2 0 5 8
# acres 513 426 291 388 215 0 274 540
woods 201 171 186 312 75 0 212 303
tillable 279 222 95 45 85 0 61 206
pasture 33 30 8 30 55 0 0 20
wetland 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 9
avg $/acre $3,769 $4,313 $2,970 $3,441 $4,708 $4,708 $3,845 $2,773
Vernon Crawford Richland TOTAL
3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr
# of sales* 1 3 3 8 7 11 28 41
# acres 21 108 263 489 481 785 2058 2736
woods 21 95 182 379 376 661 1253 1921
tillable 0 8 33 75 73 114 626 670
pasture 0 4 43 32 26 10 165 126
wetland 0 0 5 2 0 0 5 12
avg $/acre $2,380 $2,304 $2,826 $2,731 $2,564 $2,303 $3,295 $3,225


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 current 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.

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