Winter weather always affects land buyer activity in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and less snow and milder temperatures definitely made it easier for buyers to tour parcels of interest during the first quarter of this year. In Southwest Wisconsin, buyers were quite active with 30 transactions completed involving 2,272 acres. The average price per acre increased 1.3% over 4th quarter but so did the number of tillable acres making the market appear flat at an average price per acre of $3,502.

When these numbers are added to the activity I see in my own business (such as a good number of buyer inquiries, offers written, etc.), this market could be described as a tight market. The spread between sale price and list price has narrowed considerably, but buyers are generally not stepping up to bid on overpriced properties. When this happens in conjunction with low inventory (which we also have right now), the market is poised for rising prices going forward. Yet, this tight market could hold for a while as I sense cautiousness among buyers. The recession is still fresh in everyone’s memory so it remains to be seen how soon prices will turn upward again.

Average Price-per-acre by County

Avg $/acre

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

1st Quarter

Grant $4,334 $3,232 $3,041 $3,228
Iowa $3,669 $2,895 $3,592 $4,778
Lafayette $2,915 $2,915 $5,820 $4,726
Sauk $3,513 $3,805 $3,190 $3,589
Richland $2,032 $2,374 $2,558 $2,591
Crawford $2,721 $2,927 $2,842 $2,684
Vernon $4,636 $2,746 $3,154 $2,914

If you would like a more detailed free land market report, 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 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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