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Large Land Sales Slow in Texas

published on April 21, 2023

Large land sales in Texas have slowed from their feverish pace, but prices continue to rise, according to “Texas Land Market Latest Developments” by the Texas Real Estate Research Center. Annual sales for large land sales in Texas decreased 26.3 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2022, while quarterly totals decreased 25.8 percent. The Northeast Texas, Gulf Coast-Brazos Bottom, South Texas, and Austin-Waco-Hill Country regions saw a decline of more than 30 percent on total sold acres.

Prices for these land sales increased 12.4 percent in the fourth quarter to $4,446 per acre. While this is a healthy increase, the first three quarters of 2022 posted more sizable increases, respectively 27.2 percent, 23.9 percent, and 19.1 percent. All of the regions in Texas had double-digit price increases, except for Far West Texas. The South Texas and Austin-Waco-Hill Country regions had the largest price gains, at over 20 percent.

The typical size for these large land purchases increased 7.7 percent year over year to 1,406 acres. Total acres sold was down 15 percent from 2021, with 719,738 acres sold in 2022.

The Texas Real Estate Research Center concludes market demand is declining and “brokers may begin to find ebbing enthusiasm among potential buyers.” It reported that brokers saw a reduction in inventory, activity, and demand. “Overall, these trends suggest continued cooling of the insatiable demand that has propelled prices and activity to record levels.”

A separate report, “Trends in Large Property Rural Land Markets Through 4th Quarter 2021-2022,” indicated statewide median year-to-date price gains of 25 percent, with only a two percent decline in acres per sale, at 122 acres.

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