Texas has a fever. It’s not the pandemic, it’s land

Texas Real Estate Research Center
Special to the E-T

COLLEGE STATION – “A feverish demand for land, accompanied by a dearth of listings for sale, propelled Texas prices up a remarkable 16.29% in the second quarter,” according to a land expert for the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University.

The price per acre of land in Texas has been steadily increasing over the past few years.

“The state’s land markets today are among the most active periods in Texas history,” said Charles Gilliland, Ph.C., TRERC research economist who’s been tracking land prices for 40 years.

Preliminary numbers show Texas had an annualized 8,561 second quarter land sales, up nearly 43.8% over the same quarter last year. The statewide average price hit $3,433 per acre. Total dollar volume totaled a record $2.35 billion, 93% higher than second quarter 2020.

A record annualized 685,585 acres changed hands in the second quarter. The typical transaction size fell 4.78% to 1,176 acres.

“The East Texas regions all had double-digit price increases with substantial increases in total acres transferred,” Gilliland said.

Only the Far West Texas Region bucked the Texas trend. Out west, land sales volume dropped 22.6%, which Gilliland attributes to a sudden halt in purchases from the oil and gas industry. Sales in the West Texas mountains, however, helped keep regional prices higher.

Official numbers will be available in August, but Gilliland says, “This explosion in sales volume shows the flight of buyers to rural environments continues in these uncertain times.”

Texas Statewide

• Price per acre: $3,433, YOY change 16.29%

• Size (acres): 1,176, YOY change -4.78%

• Number of sales: 8,561, YOY change 43.77%

• Dollar volume: $2,353,613,305, YOY change 93.21%

• Total acres sold: 685,585, change 66.14%

Source: Texas Real Estate Research Center