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Texas Land Market First Quarter 2024

published on June 20, 2024

Statewide, annual sales volume for large land purchases in the first quarter of 2024 was down 34.7 percent year-over-year to 3,573, according to the Texas Land Market Latest Developments report by the Texas Real Estate Research Center. On a quarterly basis, sales dipped 13 percent from the last quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of this year.

Despite this cooldown, prices rose, albeit at a slightly lower pace. Median price increased 3.7 percent to $4,688 per acre through first quarter 2024.

The typical size of these larger land purchases decreased 24.8 percent to 1,186 acres in the first quarter of 2024. The total acres sold in Texas decreased 43 percent to 246,950 acres, with the Austin-Waco-Hill Country region seeing the smallest decline.

In the Austin-Waco-Hill Country region, the number of land sales declined 31.9 percent year over year but actually showed a slight increase compared to the previous quarter. Median price remained relatively stable, with a 0.2 percent decrease to $7,103 per acre. Price per acre has almost doubled since the first quarter of 2021.

Land size decreased by 4.3 percent to 201 acres. Total dollar volume and total acres sold were in relative alignment, with dollar volume down 37.6 percent to $315.9 million and total acres down 37.4 percent to 44,471 acres.

On a first quarter to first quarter comparison, sales volume in the first quarter of 2024 was 8.4 percent higher than the first quarter of 2023. The report states, “It is too early to know, but third quarter 2023 may have been the low point in sales volume in this cycle.”

The report cited “tighter financial conditions and uncertainty about future economic and financial conditions” as reasons for subdued activity in the market, as well as “constrained liquidity, declining personal net savings, domestic political uncertainty, and, potentially, geopolitical risks.”

It also noted “unprecedented government spending, which has in part stimulated consumer spending and propped up select sectors of the economy. Government and consumer debt levels, including credit card debt, continue to rise, while aggregate personal savings is now well below pre-pandemic levels.”

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