After a pause during 3rd quarter, the land market started making headway again during the 4th quarter of 2015 in Southwest Wisconsin.

4th Quarter 2015
The number of transactions was up 16% over 3rd quarter with 42 completed sales. Total acres sold remained about the same as 3rd quarter with 3,377 acres changing hands of which 27% was farmland.

2015 Land Transactions Graph

Five of the seven counties in SW Wisconsin saw an average price per acre increase when comparing the 3rd and 4th quarters. Sauk County’s average price per acre was down slightly due to buyers closing on larger parcels which usually effects a lower $/acre price. Lafayette County also averaged a lower sale price due to the sales being predominately recreational land rather than farm land. When studying the individual transactions in these two counties they show a steady to strengthening market.

During the 4th quarter SW Wisconsin had low property inventory. A good number of nice properties were sold and not many new listings came on the market. This tight market should push prices upward and encourage potential sellers to put their property on the market.

SW Wisconsin Rural Land Sales 2015 in Review

 12 month Review
2015 2015 2015 2015
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
# of transactions 30 37 36 42
# of acres sold 2272 3162 3670 3377
% of acres tillable 44% 37% 23% 27%
average $/acre $3,502 $3,947 $3,308 $3,133
Avg $/acre 2015 2015 2015 2015
1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter
Grant $3,228 $3,387 $2,339 $3,026
Iowa $4,778 $5,649 $3,451 $3,855
Lafayette $4,726 $6,364 $6,364 $3,475
Sauk $3,589 $4,098 $3,737 $3,570
Richland $2,591 $2,415 $2,382 $2,582
Crawford $2,684 $2,592 $2,549 $2,677
Vernon $2,914 $3,127 $2,337 $2,745

Land as a Long-Term Investment
Now that we are through the recession years, it is interesting to look back and see how far the land market has come. The average price per acre in Southwest Wisconsin has gone up 16% over 5 years. For those savvy enough to buy at the bottom in 2012, the average investment has increased in value about 18.5% over the last three years.

 5 Year Review – SW Wisconsin
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Avg $/acre $2,996 $2,929 $3,114 $3,260 $3,473

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

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:

SW WI Land Market Strengthens 4th Quarter 2015-2

*SW Wisconsin includes Grant County, Lafayette County, Iowa County, Sauk County, Richland County, Crawford County, & Vernon County. All data was taken 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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