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 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:

*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.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark Pierzchalski on July 14, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I have been actively pursuing a smaller piece of property in the Crawford /Vernon area and was very surprised to see the average cost per acre was as low as it was.
    I myself have found little to nothing in those kind of price ranges but do understand alot of factors go into the selling price of a lot.
    I was also surprised to see the average cost of land in Grant cnty was as high as it is but guess that the fact that there is alot more ag
    Land in that area that bumps up the average cost per acre?



  2. […]                           READ MORE from First Weber’s Rural property pro, Jay Frazier […]



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