SW Wisconsin Land Market Update

The rural land market finished the year strong with an average price per acre of $3,999 for the SW Wisconsin region. This wasn’t quite enough of a rebound to reach the record high average price set during the second quarter ($4,205/acre) but the results show a thriving rural land market. 2,785 acres changed hands in 40 transactions making 4th quarter the second strongest quarter in 2018.

2018 Rural Land Market Review

1st Quarter – 2,205 acres sold in 32 transactions at an average of $3,755/acre
2nd Quarter – 3,302 acres sold in 49 transactions at an average of $4,205/acre
3rd Quarter – 1,338 acres sold in 25 transactions at an average of $3,552/acre
4th Quarter – 2,785 acres sold in 40 transactions at an average of $3,999/acre

Current Market Characteristics

•Average Parcel Size is Down
The average parcel size sold in 2018 was just 66 acres compared to 2017 where the average parcel size was 88 acres. Larger parcels are usually owned by investors who may be choosing to hold onto their land at this time, or if they are choosing to cash out, they might be splitting large properties into several smaller parcels. It’s difficult to pinpoint a cause for this trend.

•Land Market is More Balanced
Throughout the second half of 2018, many buyers pushed back against the increasingly higher list prices of rural properties. As a result, buyers and sellers are now negotiating on a more level playing field.

•Many Active Buyers but Low Inventory
The 4th quarter saw an uptick in the number of buyers actively searching for rural property. However, there aren’t many options available. The inventory was depleted during the strong 4th quarter and remains low.

•Rural Land Market in Great Condition
Five of the seven counties in SW Wisconsin saw an increase in the average price-per-acre during the 4th quarter 2018 (compared to the same quarter a year ago). And, 8% more transactions closed during the 4th quarter 2018 (compared to a year ago).

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4th Quarter 2017 vs. 4th Quarter 2018

Here’s a look at land sales by county in SW Wisconsin:

Grant County
1 tract of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 90 acres) compared to 3 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 242 acres). The average price per acre was $4,444 compared to $3,852 a year ago; an increase of 15%.

Iowa County
15 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 1,152 acres) compared to 5 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 273 acres). The average price per acre was $4,166 compared to $4,091 a year ago; an increase of 2%.

Lafayette County
3 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 121 acres) compared to 3 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 608 acres). The average price per acre was $5,086 compared to $5,119 a year ago; a decrease of .6%.

Sauk County
9 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 486 acres) compared to 8 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 449 acres). The average price per acre was $4,391 compared to $4,693 a year ago; a decrease of 6%.

Vernon County
5 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 402 acres) compared to 5 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 230 acres). The average price per acre was $3,566 compared to $2,986 a year ago; an increase of 19%.

Crawford County
5 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 384 acres) compared to 6 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year (involving 735 acres). The average price per acre was $2,797 compared to $2,760 a year ago; an increase of 1%.

Richland County
2 tracts of land sold during the 4th quarter 2018 (involving 150 acres) compared to 7 sales during the 4th quarter of the previous year. The average price per acre was $3,211 compared to $3,166 a year ago; an increase of 1.4%.

For Landowners & Prospective Buyers

If you would like a more detailed land market report for your area (free)*, visit www.LandMarketReport.com for instructions on how to order.

Averages are just guidelines

Buyers and sellers need to be aware that average sale prices are only a general guideline. An on-site property evaluation by an experienced land agent is needed to give you an accurate picture of what a property is worth in the current market. To learn more about the rural land market in Southwest Wisconsin, begin your search here: ruralpropertypro.com

*Free Land Market Reports are available to landowners for these SW Wisconsin Counties: Grant, Lafayette, Iowa, Sauk, Richland, Crawford, & Vernon
*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was sourced from the SCWMLS & WiREx. Because this article was intended to review the rural land market, properties smaller than 20 acres, residential, and commercial land sales were not included.
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