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Record Highs for Single-Family Home Lot Prices

The average single-family lot size reached a new record high in 2018, with half of the lots selling at or above $49,500, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction. 

Data shows the biggest rise in lot values was in the West South Central division, where median-lot values more than doubled since the housing boom years.

Lot values, however, adjusted for inflation have not reached housing-boom peaks. Lots sold for more than $43,000 during those years, which is over $53,000 when converted in 2018 money.  

The West South Central Division—made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana—historically has had the lowest lot values in the nation. The NAHB states that lot values began rising in 2013 and reached the national average by 2015.

According to the NAHB, as of 2018 lot values in the division sell for more than $62,000, which is $25 above the national average. Lot values were outpacing prices during the housing boom when lots were under $30,000. 

New England had the most expensive lots in the nation, with half of all sold single-family homes had lot values higher than $140,000. 

“New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that typical single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest and most expensive lots in the nation,” said the NAHB. 

The Pacific Division had the smallest lots, but the average value reached $87,000 in 2018—a new record for the division. The Pacific Division is the most expensive in terms of per-acre costs. 

Lot values in the East North Central Division also hit a new record high of $52,000. 

The East South Central Division—including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky—has the second-largest lots and the lowest median-lot value at $38,000. 

Home prices in September saw its highest month-over-month increase in two years, rising 0.2% to 3.95% for the month—the highest its been since March when home-price growth was in a 16-month slow trend.

The average home price is up 54% from the bottom of the market from early 2012 and is 15% higher than the pre-crisis peak set in June of 2006. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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