Shortage of Listings, Abundance of Family Dynamics


Just when you think and hear that the land market is going south, it turns and goes north.  Believe it or not, there is a SHORTAGE of land for sale at this time. We have buyers that are looking for land and there is not much available. If you look in publications and newspapers, the pages are somewhat bare. I recently sold a parcel that I had listed for about three days and it was sold OVER what the listing price was. Another was sold in 2 days for listing price. The commodity prices have not done a lot to help us out, but the yields have. We are currently working on sale/leaseback scenarios with some landowners. This type of market may increase in the future.


If you are looking for land and can't really find what your are looking for, be patient. In Iowa, there are about 250 million tillable acres. 56% of these acres are owned by landowners who are over 65 years of age. This transition is already happening. Mom and Dad are gone and now the kids own the farms with some living here, and some not. All have great value systems regarding these farms and their lives, but unfortunately, most are not the same. This is when things start to unravel.


I attended an auction in the Algona area last week where things apparently may have unraveled. The daughter wanted her share and wanted out. Unfortunately for her, neighbor apathy came into play. The farm sold for $7600/acre at auction and clearly should have brought over $8,000/acre. The neighbors would not bid against the brother, as he was a neighbor. We can work with these scenarios and try to retain land values and family unity.


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