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What is Happening to the Land Market Outside the Grain Belt

May 26, 2020 

Periodically it is interesting to survey what is transacting in the land market outside the grain belt in the middle of the country. The land real estate market in Georgia has continued to be on the slower side even before the Covid-19 effects came into the picture. "There seems to be no discernible difference in sales activity between the period prior to the appearance of Covid-19 and post appearance when looking at the number of sales for each time frame" observed Wayne Groover, managing broker for Farmers National Company. 

  

"In our analysis of land sales across the state, selling prices have ranged from a low of $950 per acre for recreational type properties with poor soils or cut over timber to a high for the period of $11,000 per acre for transitional or development tracts" Groover said. The analysis covers the period of January 1 to May 15, 2020 for tracts over 50 acres.  

  

The majority of the sales analyzed came from central and northern Georgia. Groover further commented, "The makeup of the type of land being sold was not surprising for the sample in this time period.  There was no row crop land that was sold for this area, while 24% was pasture or hay ground used for agricultural purposes with the majority or 62% being wooded recreational land." 

  

Uncertainty in the economy and agriculture will continue to hover over the land market during the coming months. The market doesn't know if it will see more land come up for sale or people will hold on to it as a real property investment. Conversely, will there be an increase in the number of buyers due to those wanting a safer, long-term investment in land or will the depressed economy siphon out investable income for too many people? 

Randy Dickhut  

Senior Vice President - Real Estate Operations 

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