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Record-breaking Texas Land Sales as Buyers Migrate

published on April 21, 2021

“Texas city-dwelling buyers descended on rural locations in latter 2020,” according to the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. Due to both pandemic fears and urban unrest, buyers purchased 552,707 acres of Texas land for a record $1.69 billion. The increased demand caused statewide land prices to increase 3.1 percent to $3,064 per acre, with the typical sale at 1,139 acres.

Center Research Economist Dr. Charles Gilliland, who has studied state land markets for 40 years, said, “Austin-Waco-Hill Country rural markets exploded in the third and fourth quarters of 2020. The 1,103 sales marked the first time the region recorded more than 1,000 in a quarter. Sales in the region were up 85.1 percent from the same time in 2019.”

In the Austin-Waco-Hill Country area, the average price per acre was $4,164, with an average size of 209 acres, down slightly in size but up in price per acre. The total acres sold in the region was 113,784, an increase of 24.88 percent. Sales were up almost 40 percent for the two quarters.

“Statewide, the 7,684 sales were up 28.9 percent from last year,” said Gilliland. “Fourth quarter 2020 produced a remarkable increase in rural property transactions across most of Texas. Taken together, the third and fourth quarter results signal an active and rising market with strong demand for land in most areas of Texas. Currently, market professionals report a flood of interest in land purchases.”

Prices also increased in all Texas regions except for the Panhandle and South Plains. While West Texas and Austin-Waco-Hill Country had large increases in numbers of sales, price increases were modest. Far West Texas, impacted by falling oil prices, experienced a decline in sales. Transaction size – the number of acres per sale – was down in most regions.

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