by Republic Ranches | December 11, 2014
Studying Rural Land Trends in the Lone Star State
The name Republic Ranches, LLC is commonly known, and the company is frequently sought out because of the fact that a skilled and extremely knowledge crew in all backgrounds of farm and ranch real estate make-up the team. With five offices located in or near the major metropolitan areas: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Hondo, the people of Republic Ranches are true land stewards. Whether it is regarding equestrian ranches, working farms and ranches, or land purchased for recreation purposes, this is the crew that buyers and sellers want on their side because of the data and information they provide.
When speaking about rural land trends in the state of Texas there are many factors that have to be taken into account. The Texas population has increased 36%, with 87% of the increase occurring in 25 counties. The total land conversion from these counties is 54%, with Texas working lands going through a fundamental change.
Rural land areas (native landscapes) have been threatened by suburbanization, rural development and land fragmentation occurring because of the growth in population. As it is with most states, Texas does face issues of losing rural land as the growth of the metro areas grows larger and larger by the minute. However, a vast majority of Texas land is part of a farm, ranch or forest, which still makes it the ultimate location for buyers and sellers who not only want to create a successful business and/or vacation property, but also for people who want to find the best property for investment opportunities.
Rural land is actually a necessity for the state, seeing as that this acreage referred to as “working lands” is responsible for helping the state retain water resources – letting rain infiltrate the ground and circulate into aquifers. In other words, even though the size of the farms and ranches are growing smaller, they are also still ‘must-haves’ when it comes to keeping the Lone Star State healthy.
Texas rural land prices are quoted by many sources. Regional reports are the results of an overview of prices that are then adjusted to a standardized distribution of acreages in seven regional markets. There is also a statewide analysis of land price trends in general that can be found, indicating the broad base of market trends in the Lone Star State.
Rural land prices come from the reported sales of transactions that are in-depth; meaning, the data reported comes not only from the money that switched hands, it is also based on the overall price paid per acre and what the land will be used for. In addition, the conditions of the land bought and/or sold is taken into account so that prospective buyers can see what is growing where, what regions are the best for a buyer’s specific needs, and more.
The Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources survey all land trends, issuing a report performed every five years. According to the last survey taken, Texas lost approximately one million acres of open space lands between 1997 and 2012, yet there is still a high number of acreage for the farmer, rancher, investor, or vacationing landowner to choose from. The average land value within the top 25 fastest growing counties was $5,266 per acre in 2012; this is compared to the state-wide average of $1,573 per acre.
In Texas more than 95 percent of land is privately owned, which poses unique challenges. But as more and more interested buyers come forth to grab their own slice of Texas, the rural land values will continue to thrive.