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Rising Residential Land Prices

Information compiled by the National Association of Realtors [1] found that the dollar sales volume rose on average by 2.2% for all land types between October 2018 and September 2019. 

Residential land sales had the largest year-over-year increase at 2.9%. 

The report says residential lane use sales received a boost from falling mortgage rates during 2019 and three cuts by the Fed to interest rates. 

Land for recreational use (hunting, fishing, and camping) showed price appreciation of 2.7%. 

The rise in prices for residential land use fell from October 2018’s growth of 4.3%. 

The NAR says that the increase in residential land prices is in line with the 2.8% increase in the value of residential land assets of households during 2018 and through Q3 2019. 

During Q3 2019, the estimated market value of residential land help by households was $10.78 trillion—a 2.8% increase from the $10.49 trillion in assets during 2018.

Approximately half of the respondents reported that residential land zoning ordinances have become more difficult in the past five years, which is up from 39% in 2018. 

The rising cost of land is in direct correlation to the climb of home prices. CoreLogic reported [2]that home prices rose 4% annually in December 2019 and are expected to increase 5.2% over the next year. December’s home-price gain was down from the December 2018 increase of 4.4%, but up from November’s 3.5% gain.

Price appreciation averaged 3.6% for 2019, which is a considerable drop from 2018’s average of 5.8%. CoreLogic projects average growth for 2020 to be 4.6%.

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) has increased on a year-over-year basis every month since February 2012 and has gained 63% since bottoming out in March 2011. 

The overall HPI, as of December 2019, was 9.8 higher than its pre-crisis peak in April 2006.

Homes priced in the lowest tier once again saw the largest increase, with value rising 5.9% annually in December 2019. Prices in the low-to-middle price tier rose 5.2%, the middle-to-moderate-price tier increased 4.4%, and the homes in the highest tier witnessed values rise 3.7%.