Rural real estate, particularly farm land saw a dramatic increase in sales in 2012 as investors and lifestyle-seekers make new plans.
Rural real estate rises dramatically
According to United Country Real Estate, sales of rural real estate rose 27.6 percent to end 2012, compared to 2011. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Jason Cole reports that farmland showed the most substantial growth in the land category.
“We achieved a roughly 100-percent increase in both volume and farm acres sold system-wide year-over-year,” Cole said in a statement. “We also saw large gains in residential auction sales, which were 41 percent better than 2011. United Country also delivered record farm sale prices for their selling clients in their auction services division throughout Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.”
“While we are pleased by a solid performance for the 2012 calendar year, we are especially excited about our December performance,” said Dan Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of United Country Real Estate. “United Country’s December sales grew an amazing 169 percent over the prior year December sales in part due to record growth in closed sales of ‘investment grade’ farm, ranch, sporting and timberland properties with sale values ranging from $10 million to $50 million and a resurgence in sales of residential homes in the markets we serve.”
An improving housing market
Although the road to recovery for the housing sector is a long and arduous one, the industry is showing signs of improvement in pockets, as shown with rural real estate sales.
Recent data reveals that foreclosure inventory fell substantially in 2012, and although sales in general are down, economists point to tight inventory levels, rising prices, and low interest rates for some time to come as promising signs for housing.
NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said affordability conditions will be fairly stable in the near term. “Although mortgage interest rates should gradually rise as the year progresses, they’re expected to stay below 4 percent during the first half of the year, meaning qualified buyers generally can stay well within their means.”