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Market Report

Texas Land Markets

STEADY AS SHE GOES! TEXAS LAND MARKETS SECOND QUARTER—2019

Written By Charles E. Gilliland, Ph.D. Research Economist | Real Estate Center | Texas A&M University
Texas Rural Land Prices 2010-2019
Changes in Texas Rural Land Prices 2010-2019

Continuing robust economic activity supported by a thriving oil industry elevated Texas land prices to $2,878 per acre in the second quarter of 2019. The expanding affluence fueled demand for recreational and investment properties driving a 5.96 percent annualized increase statewide. Typical size ebbed 18.12 percent to 1,263.77 acres, suggesting that buyers sought smaller acreages in greater numbers. The 5,559 sales fell 10.67 percent short of the 2018 volume. At $1.12 billion, total dollar volume also tailed off by 9.75 percent from 2018. However, final tallies may overcome these preliminary totals. Thus, overall statewide Texas land markets remain vigorous with sizable positive price trends.

Statewide results reflect positive conditionsin nearly every region. Based on tax-inspiredinvestment activity, the Panhandle and SouthPlains watched prices climb strongly. Reflectingthe strong economy, Northeast Texas registeredstrong growth. Continuing recreational demandfor the Central Texas—Hill Country and GulfCoast—Brazos Bottom property produced solidprice growth as well. Countering these strongresults, West Texas prices grew more modestlyand South Texas prices remained stagnant. FarWest Texas prices, where 2019 markets settledinto a normal range following the stratosphericlevels set during the sand mining frenzy,plummeted. Overall, most markets showedremarkable strength.

As the summer closes, economic activitycontinues on a broad base across the state.Although pundits warn that the expansion, begunin 2009, must be entering its end stages, the nearfuture shows no signs of troubling trends. Whilesome lenders have reined in real estate loans,buyers can still find capital. Meanwhile, thoseparticipating on the investment front find it astruggle to ferret out lucrative opportunities intraditional vehicles. The scramble for returns maymake land investment more attractive as a placeto park capital. Though slower economic growthseems to be the consensus forecast, the Fed nowappears set to cut interest rates in the comingquarters. Therefore, barring some unforeseenevent such as a war with Iran, markets should continue to thrive. °