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.

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  1. […] by Jay Frazier […]

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