With Giving Tuesday around the corner and year-end giving campaigns underway, we are pledging donations to organizations that matter to us and inspire the work we do. We’ve created a list of folks in Montana and across the west that we think are doing meaningful work in the intersection between people and land for you to learn more!
Did you know that for nearly a century, San Antonio was the largest city on the western frontier? Or that Texas is the only state to have farm to market roads? Our recent visit to the Witte Museum's Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center immersed us in the culture and history of ranching in South Texas.
Northwest Farm Credit Services releases a Market Snapshot of land values quarterly. Their latest issue details market trends through 2016. The decrease in number of sales in 2013 - 2015 reflects constraints in supply rather than weak demand.
Across the region, demand remains strong for working ranches and good-quality agricultural properties due to a strong demand for grass and a limited inventory of good-quality properties. As is typical in the market, properties with premier recreational features or locales with limited private ownership are in highest demand.
We advocate that real estate and conservation work best in tandem, and that property can honor heritage and strengthen community. Thankfully, we are not alone in our conviction. Our home of southwest Montana has a number of landowners who steward their properties with a similar community-driven mindset. Arthur Blank, owner of Mountain Sky and new owner of neighboring West Creek Ranch, is one such landowner.
When looking at the "just land" sales per acre number, Clark categorizes 2016 as "stable, but softening" relative to the market over the last ten years. In 2007 the Montana land market had record high transactions at an average of $1909 / acre for just land, excludes the value attributed to buildings and leases. The farm and ranch market bottomed out in 2010 at $610/acre, which represents a 68% loss from the high. By 2014 the market came all the way back up to $1,465 / acre, a 140% gain over 2010. The figure in 2016 is only a 7% discount from 2014. In terms of price per acre 2014 through 2016 resembles 2004 through 2006. For reference, the price of land sold per acre excluding buildings and leases in 2005 was $1,361 / acre.
Every winter, The Land Report releases a Top 100 List of America's Largest Landowners. Earlier this month, the magazine unveiled the 2016 list. Though the top two remain unchanged, there are many new names on this year's list. Of the top 25 landowners by acreage, 20% are classified as "new to the list" meaning that in 2015 their land holdings did not qualify them for a spot in the top 100.
Initially drawn to Pfister Land Co. because of the company's professional reputation and proven track record of interesting projects across the west, Kelly ultimately decided to partner with Rob Pfister because of their shared values and the similarity of the business foundation of Pfister Land Co. and Topos & Anthros.