No doubt you've heard coffeeshop stories about a piece of farmland, not development land, bringing $6,000, $7,000, maybe even $8,000 or more somewhere in Indiana or Illinois. While some of these sales may really happen, such as when two farmers really want a piece of land that adjoins them, 'somewhere in Indiana' may be the key phrase.
One of the best ways to track what land prices are really doing is log on to an auction company Web site or be on their email list. A recent report from Halderman Auction Company based in Wabash, indicates that good land is still selling strong, and even recreational land in Indiana still commands good prices. At the same time, not every tract is going to bring $6,000 or more if it's located away from development.
There are those ag economists types already predicting that rising input prices and other factors will slow down land price value increases in the coming year. While that may be true, land prices still remain at healthy levels. It also appears that buyers are discriminating, paying better prices for better land, and less for rough land or land with potential problems of one sort or another.
Here's a sampling from the Recent Halderman report. Just over 416 acres northeast fo Frankfort sold at auction for more than $2.3 million dollars. That works out to somewhere under $6,000 per acre. One investor paid $5,8888 for 80 acres, 79 of which was tillable. Another investor went for a large tract with over 131 tillable acres and 42 wooded acres, and paid just under $5,000 per acre for the entire parcel.
Yet in southern Indiana, 134 acres, half wooded and half tillable, sold to an investor for just under $2,000 an acre. Part of the land offered in that auction did not sell. Three miles north of West Lafayette, an investor recently paid $4,904 per acre for 198 acres, with 178 tillable.
These are hefty numbers, but they're not the $7,000 to $8,000 numbers jumping into headlines and making some landowners believe their property is worth more, even on today's market, than what it really is. If your landowner cash renting ground to you has a question about what land is selling for perhaps you ought to direct him to one of the Web sites that carries actual sales results. Most of the larger firms provide that service for free.