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Why are Single-family Lot Values Rising?

Single family lot values reached a new high in 2017, according to recent data from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) and the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC). According to the NAHB, nationally, lots were priced at a median of $47,400 or higher. However, the NAHB notes that though this is a nominal record, it does not account for inflation. During the housing boom, half of the lots were priced at $43,000 or higher, which equates to at least $50,000 in 2017.

According to SOC, the West South Central and West North Central divisions saw some of the greatest increases in lot value, in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms. The West South Central division, which covers Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, after finally catching up with the median in 2015, surged to half the lots selling for over $56,000 as of 2017. During the housing boom, these lots were priced at $30,000 or less. Half of the lots in the West North Central hit values of $64,000 or more.

In New England, you’ll find some of the most expensive lots in the U.S. Half of all sold single-family homes started in New England were built on lots that sold for $128,000 or more, far above the national median of $47,400.

According to NAHB, high regulatory costs pushed the median lot value to $84,000 in the Pacific division, despite having some of the smallest lots. The pacific division holds the most expensive lots per acre, and second most expensive overall. Lots were cheapest in the East South Central division, with a median price of $37,000 per lot.

According to the NAHB, lots are becoming smaller nationally, despite the price increases. With new home construction still slow and demand for lots going down, prices keep going up for these lots. Additionally, increasing lot value may be attributed to an increasing shift into more expensive urban areas.

Find the NAHB report here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.
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