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Land Value Surveys

The Iowa Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, is an estimate of the average values of farmland, provided two times each year. The Realtors Land Institute is an arm of the National Association of Realtors and is organized for realtors who specialize in farm and land sales, management and appraisal. All participants in the land value surveys deal almost exclusively in farmland.

Below is the most current information from the land value surveys. To see all surveys, please visit all Farmland Value Surveys.


Land Value Survey - September 2015

Land values decrease 11.3% in Iowa over last 12 months.

The Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, reported a statewide average decrease of cropland values of 11.3% for the year from September 1, 2014 to September 1, 2015. This follows an average decrease of cropland values of 3.7% from March 2015 to September 2015 and a decrease of 7.6% reported in March 2015.

All nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed a decrease in average farmland value ranging from 1.9% to 5.4% since March 2015.

This follows an average decrease of 4.2% for the year from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014; and an average increase of 17.1% for the year from March 2012 to March 2013.

"There is a decrease in land values across the state," said Eric Schlutz, ALC, Realtor and Manager of the Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors Muscatine Office. "The current decreases in value we are seeing are a direct reflection of the current commodity prices and net farm revenue; however, land remains a popular asset and is in high demand."

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of September 1, 2015. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis.

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of March 1, 2015. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information.

"We are also starting to see investor movement, driven by assets leaving the stock market, into more stable land investments and a means of diversification," said Eric Schlutz.

Farm and Land Survey September 2015

For September 2015 price per acre of
cropland in all nine Iowa districts, click here.


Land Value Survey - March 2015

Despite a decrease in the value of cropland across the state of Iowa, there continues to be high demand for certain types of land.

In our east central district, high quality cropland is selling at $10,425 per acre. Timber is selling at $2,180 per acre.

The Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, reported a statewide average decrease of cropland values of 11% for the year from March 1, 2014 to March 1, 2015.

The results show a statewide average decrease of 7.6% for the September 2014 to March 2015 period with all nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed a decrease in value.

This follows an average decrease of 4.2% for the year from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014; and an average increase of 17.1% for the year from March 2012 to March 2013.

"Although we are seeing declines across the board on tillable land because of weakening commodity prices, there is still a lot of buyer strength for high quality tillable, pasture land, and recreational land," said Eric Schlutz, ALC, Realtor and Manager of the Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors Muscatine Office.

The survey attributed the current land values to lower commodity prices, limited amount of land on the market, lack of stable alternative investments, cash on hand, and increasing interest rates.

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of March 1, 2015. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information.

For local experts, the survey results don’t necessarily show the whole picture, stating that land will always be a hot commodity.

Farm and Land Survey March 2015

For March 2015 price per acre of
cropland in all nine Iowa districts, click here.


Land Value Survey - September 2014

Despite a decrease in the value of cropland across the state of Iowa, there continues to be high demand for certain types of land.

The Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, reported a statewide average decrease of cropland values of 8.8% for the year from September 1, 2013 to September 1, 2014. This follows an average increase of cropland values of 10.6% for the year from September 1, 2012 to September 1, 2013; and an average increase of 18.5% for the year from September 2011 to September 2012.

"The slight decline in land prices is a direct result of lower commodity prices and net farm revenue, however there is still high demand and low supply of quality farms," said Eric Schlutz, ALC, Realtor and Manager of the Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors Muscatine Office. "We are also starting to see investor movement, driven by assets leaving the stock market, into more stable land investments and a means of diversification."

The survey attributed the current land values to lower commodity prices, increasing interest rates, a lack of stable alternative investments, amounts of cash on hand and the limited amount of land on the market.

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of September 1, 2014. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information. Two of the nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed an increase in the last 6 months.

For local experts, the survey results don't necessarily show the whole picture, stating that land will always be a hot commodity.

"Some farmers remain in a good cash position, so when good land becomes available they are ready to buy and will pay top dollar," said Ken Paper, Accredited Land Consultant and Realtor at Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors. "As the amount of tillable land shrinks, due to expansion of the urban communities, fewer acres are available for farming. No more land is being created."

Farm and Land Survey September 2014

For September 2014 price per acre of
cropland in all nine Iowa districts, click here.


Land Value Survey - March 2014

In our east central district, high quality cropland is selling at $11,283 per acre. Timber is selling at $2,372 per acre. The Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, reported a statewide average decrease of cropland values of 4.2% for the year from March 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014. This follows an increase of 17.1% for the year from March 2012 to March 2013; and an average increase of 23.7% for the year from March 2011 to March 2012. This is the first reported statewide decrease since March 2008 through March 2009.

"Although lower commodity prices have put some downward pressure on low and medium quality farms, we are still seeing strong demand for high quality farms and have seen renewed interest in non-tillable land," said Eric Schlutz, Accredited Land Consultant with Ruhl Farm&Land and Muscatine Manager for Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors.

"Strong beef prices have increased demand for pasture land along with the strong investor demand for recreational parcels."

The survey attributed the current decrease in land values to higher input costs, increasing interest rates, government regulation uncertainty, and uncertainty of the U.S. and world economy.

The survey also attributed the current land values to an increase in long-term interest rates, 2013 growing conditions, a lack of stable alternative investments, large amounts of cash on hand and the limited amount of land on the market.

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of March 1, 2014. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information.

"I see no movement in high quality tillable land," said Ken Paper, Accredited Land Consultant with Ruhl Farm&Land and Realtor with Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors. "Many farmers are in a good cash position coming out of a strong commodity market. There will probably be some stress on the low quality parcels, but all in all I think it is too soon to make any judgments on the land market."

For March 2014 price per acre of cropland
in all nine Iowa districts, click here.


Land Value Survey - September 2013

The value of cropland across the state of Iowa continues to be on the rise, but slowing a bit.

The Land Trends and Value Survey, presented by the Iowa Farm and Land Chapter #2 REALTORS Land Institute, reported a statewide average increase of cropland values of 10.6% for the year from September 1, 2012 to September 1, 2013. This follows an average increase of 18.5% for the year from September 2011 to September 2012; and an average increase of 32.6% for the year from September 2010 to September 2011.

Overall, the strong upward movement in land prices has leveled out even though we have seen growth in values over the past six months especially in the East Central District, which covers much of the local market area.

"Clearly the decrease in commodity prices and the potential for highly variable yields are slowing the increases in land value especially in medium to lower quality farms," said Eric Schlutz, Realtor with Ruhl Farm&Land and Muscatine Manager for Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors.

The survey also attributed the current land values to an increase in long-term interest rates, 2013 growing conditions, a lack of stable alternative investments, large amounts of cash on hand and the limited amount of land on the market.

For the survey, participants are asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of September 1, 2013. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information. Seven of the nine Iowa crop reporting districts showed an increase in the last 6 months.

For local experts, the survey results were not surprising, said Dennis Stolk, Realtor with Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors.

“The best strength in the land market continues to be in the high quality, all tillable parcels, with some easing of the growth in values of the lesser quality parcels, as well as recreation land,” Stolk said. “Future direction of land values will be highly dependent on commodity prices for corn, soybeans, hogs and cattle, as well as interest rates and the general overall economic trend.

“We are positioned in eastern Iowa and western Illinois to see good stable land values and do not anticipate a drastic movement downward or upward.”

For September 2013 price per acre of
cropland in all nine Iowa districts, click here.


Contact us today to be connected with a land consultant to speak about specific land values in your area.


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