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Demand for Texas rural land continues, slows

The Texas Chapter of ASFMRA published its 2023 Texas Rural Land Value report. Learn what's trending in your region.

Shelley E. Huguley, Editor

May 31, 2024

15 Slides

High demand for rural Texas land used for agricultural production and recreational and investment opportunities continues as the state's population grows and as urban dwellers seek an outlet outside the city limits, according to the recently published 2023 Texas Rural Land Value Trends report.

“Demand for rural property on a statewide level has continued on an upward plane, but at a slower pace than we saw post-pandemic,” says R. Mike Lansford, The Texas Chapter president of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), in the latest report.


Lansford says it will be interesting to see what lies ahead and how Texas land markets are impacted “by interest rate adjustments, softening inflation, softening commodity markets, domestic and international supply chain issues, and the global unrest associated with large regional conflicts that are ongoing. In addition, the 2024 election will most likely be action-packed.”

The Texas ASFMRA report is published annually. It provides market trend insight into seven Texas regions:

  • Region 1: North Panhandle, South Plains

  • Region 2: Far Wes Texas, Big Bend, Trans-Pecos

  • Region 3: North Texas, Central Texas, South Central Texas

  • Region 4: North Texas, Northeast Texas, Piney Woods North, Piney Woods South

  • Region 5: Eastern Coastal Prairie, Southeaster Piney Woods, Southwestern Piney Woods, Brazos Bottom, Houston Area, Central Coastal Prairie, North Coastal Prairie, Bellville and Brenham areas

  • Region 6: Transition Zone, Upper South Texas, Lower South Texas, Coastal Plains, Coastal Bend, Rio Grande Valley

  • Region 7: Southern Grand Prairie, Central Basin, Central Blacklands, Grand Prairie, North Central Post Oaks, East Edwards Plateau, Central Blacklands, Southern Post Oaks, Eastern Hill Country, Western Hill Country

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Statewide, land sales have cooled compared to the 2021-2022 markets. Buyers are focusing on quality properties, which has resulted in higher average prices, even as total transaction volume has ebbed.


The report noted the following trends:

  • Based on fourth-quarter data, prices rose 50.4% to $4,670 through 2023.

  • Total dollar volume, at $1.31 billion, declined by 59% over the prior annualized total.

  • A total of 279,509 acres changed hands, down 61.17% over 2022.

  • The typical size retracted compared to the same quarter a year ago and was down by 7.46% to 1,301 acres. This was down from last quarter’s typical size of 1,437 acres.

Regionally, except for Central Texas, the report showed that prices continue to increase from less than 1% (Region 5) to 23.63% (Region 2). Every region, however, declined in total acres sold. “Region 2 declined the least at 26.54%, while Region 3 saw the steepest decline (as was the case last quarter) at 74.44% acres sold.”

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Region 1 displayed the most declining acres sold, down 62.20% and rising prices with an 11.26% increase in median price per acre.

The report also includes regional tables (see below) breaking down the land use or class, value ranges, activity or trend, and rental range and its activity and trend.

View this slideshow to learn more about regional trends while also viewing windmills photographed across the Texas landscape. (If viewing this gallery on a mobile, the captions appear below the ads.)


About the Author(s)

Shelley E. Huguley

Editor, Southwest Farm Press

Shelley Huguley has been involved in agriculture for the last 25 years. She began her career in agricultural communications at the Texas Forest Service West Texas Nursery in Lubbock, where she developed and produced the Windbreak Quarterly, a newspaper about windbreak trees and their benefit to wildlife, production agriculture and livestock operations. While with the Forest Service she also served as an information officer and team leader on fires during the 1998 fire season and later produced the Firebrands newsletter that was distributed quarterly throughout Texas to Volunteer Fire Departments. Her most personal involvement in agriculture also came in 1998, when she married the love of her life and cotton farmer Preston Huguley of Olton, Texas. As a farmwife, she knows first-hand the ups and downs of farming, the endless decisions made each season based on “if” it rains, “if” the drought continues, “if” the market holds. She is the bookkeeper for their family farming operation and cherishes moments on the farm such as taking harvest meals to the field or starting a sprinkler in the summer with the whole family lending a hand. Shelley has also freelanced for agricultural companies such as Olton CO-OP Gin, producing the newsletter Cotton Connections while also designing marketing materials to promote the gin. She has published articles in agricultural publications such as Southwest Farm Press while also volunteering her marketing and writing skills to non-profit organizations such as Refuge Services, an equine-assisted therapy group in Lubbock. She and her husband reside in Olton with their three children Breely, Brennon and HalleeKate.

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