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Demand for Texas Land Backs off Feverish Pace

published on December 12, 2022

“Demand for rural Texas land surged in the wake of COVID-19 and unrest in the state’s urban centers. However, that demand has since slowed along with price growth,” stated the takeaway from a Texas Real Estate Research Center report on land sales in Texas.

The unusually large demand for Texas land first appeared following the shutdowns. “Canceling concerts, closing restaurants, shuttering bars, and prohibiting gatherings, cities shut down most public interaction in 2020 …” Additionally, “Brokers reported that some clients were concerned about violence and unrest in the city, and that was their motivation for buying rural property.”

Added to this, many in the workforce were now able to work from home, and these collective conditions “inspired a stampede of newly sequestered Texans to the countryside searching for land. Rural transaction numbers soared as urban dwellers descended on bucolic areas, seeking escape from cities.”

In the third quarter of 2020, land transaction totals were 47 percent higher than 2019. By the fourth quarter, totals were up 85 percent. In 2021, totals were up 69 percent and 71 percent in the first and second quarters, respectively. Statewide, the price per acre increased 49 percent in two and a half years, growing from $2,969 in the second quarter of 2020 to $4,426 in the third quarter of 2022.

Now, at the end of 2022, sales are experiencing less “feverish” activity, albeit still strong when looked at in a historical sense. The report stated many landowners have opted to hold onto their land for now, while buyers “have diminished to a smaller gang struggling to find properties listed for sale.”

In the third quarter of 2022, prices rose 19 percent. The Austin-Waco-Hill Country region, as an example, experienced a price increase of 26.72 percent, while also experiencing a 50.9 percent decrease in sales volume.

Read more in the full report:

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