Texas has a fever. It’s not the pandemic. It’s land.

“A feverish demand for land, accompanied by a dearth of listings for sale, propelled Texas prices up a remarkable 16.29 percent in the second quarter,” says the land expert for the Texas Real Estate Research Center (TRERC) at Texas A&M University.

“The state’s land markets today are among the most active periods in Texas history,” says Dr. Charles Gilliland, TRERC research economist who’s been tracking land prices for 40 years.

Preliminary numbers show Texas had an annualized 8,561 second quarter land sales, up nearly 43.8 percent over the same quarter last year. The statewide average price hit $3,433 per acre. Total dollar volume totaled a record $2.35 billion, 93 percent higher than second quarter 2020.

A record annualized 685,585 acres changed hands in the second quarter. The typical transaction size fell 4.78 percent to 1,176 acres.

“The East Texas regions all had double-digit price increases with substantial increases in total acres transferred,” said Gilliland.
Only the Far West Texas Region bucked the Texas trend. Out west, land sales volume dropped 22.6 percent, which Gilliland attributes to a sudden halt in purchases from the oil and gas industry. Sales in the West Texas mountains, however, helped keep regional prices higher.

Official numbers will be available in August, but Gilliland says, “This explosion in sales volume shows the flight of buyers to rural environments continues in these uncertain times.”

Funded primarily by Texas real estate licensee fees, the Texas Real Estate Research Center was created by the state legislature to meet the needs of many audiences, including the real estate industry, instructors, researchers, and the public. The Center is part of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

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