U.S. land brokers are reporting an increase in deals and a rise in land values due to what they say is growing demand for rural land.
That’s according to a survey of more than 100 land brokers in the U.S. carried out by National Land Realty, and the findings suggest that we’ll see more of the same in 2021, with even more land purchases expected to take place.
The survey found that more half of the brokers saw an increase in business last year compared to the year prior. Over 60% of respondents said that land values were up too, especially farmland and recreational land.
National Land Realty Chief Executive Jason Walter said the growing demand was due to investors seeking a safe haven in land at a time when the economy was being wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted “record-breaking volume” in the second half of the year.
“With all of the traumatic events of 2020, people are looking to not only invest in land outside of the city, but they are also wanting to live on the land they buy, to be able to breathe the fresh COVID-free air and reconnect with the great outdoors,” he said.
That’s backed up by the survey findings, with brokers reporting that the majority of recent land buyers come from urban or suburban areas.
Almost 90% of the brokers surveyed believe that land sales will continue to perform strongly over the next year to 18 months, according to the survey. “And more than 75 percent of [land brokers] believe their business will grow at least 5 percent, if not more than 10 percent, in that same time frame,” added Jason Burbage, president of National Land Realty.
The biggest challenges in 2021 moving forward, land brokers say, will center around geopolitical risk (nearly 24%), followed by financing or interest rate risk (20%) and COVID-related issues (17%).