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.