For the last four years, the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) have released the annual Land Market Survey, as a bench-marking tool and informational resource for those involved in land transactions. The survey reveals current trends based on the past year's numbers and projections for the coming year.
Released in early 2017, this year's survey was complied from the input of 614 respondents, of which 505 closed a land transaction. The reference period for the previous year's data is from October 2015 to September 2016, and the outlook ranges from October 2016 to September 2017.
Across the entire United States, during the reference period (2015-2016), the dollar volume of land sales increased the most for timber land at 5% and residential land at 4%. Agricultural irrigated land sales fell by 1%, and non-irrigated land sales by dollar volume decreased by 2%, likely due to slump in commodity prices.
Projections for outlook (2016-2017) period show little change from the reference period. Nationally, timber, residential and greenfield development land sales by dollar volume are expected to grow at 3%. Agricultural irrigated land sales are projected to show no change period-over-period, and irrigated land sales by dollar volume are expected to grow modestly at 1%.
In terms of sales in dollar amounts (dollars per acre) across the country, timber and residential prices are both projected to grow at 3%; whereas, agricultural prices are expected to decline by 2%.
Looking specifically at Region 6, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, land sold during the reference period consisted of the following types of properties:
Type of Land Sold in Region 6
In terms of acres, irrigated land accounts for a material portion of the ares sold in Region 6. During the 2015 - 2016 period, irrigated acres accounted for 48% of the total acres sold. The projection for the 2016 - 2017 period shows a decline with irrigated acres expected to only account for 38% of the total acres sold.
We're several months into the outlook period, but it's still too early to tell how the projections line up with actual transactions nation-wide and in Region 6.