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Texas small land sales jump 14 percent, price per acre declines in 2016Texas small land sales jump 14 percent, price per acre declines in 2016https://www.recenter.tamu.edu/news/newstalk-texas/?Item=169492017-06-23T05:00:00Z2017-06-23T18:00:00Z

​​AUSTIN – Texas small land sales volume had strong gains in 2016, while the average price per acre declined slightly statewide, according to the Texas Small Land Sales Report released today by the Texas Association of Realtors.

Texas small land sales volume jumped 14.2 percent annually to 6,992 small land tracts sold in 2016. During the same time frame, the average price per acre dipped 0.3 percent year-over-year to $5,647 an acre. The definition of a "small" land sale varies from region to region but generally is considered to be a land purchase of 200 acres or less. The exception is Far West Texas, where 500 to 8,000 acres qualifies as a small land sale.

Strong small land sales growth was evident throughout most regions, with purchases in Far West Texas, Northeast Texas, and the Austin-Waco-Hill Country experiencing annual gains of more than 20 percent. Conversely, sales in West Texas declined 20.6 percent from 2015.

As demand for such tracts continued to rise, the average size of land purchased declined. In 2016, the average size declined three acres from 2015 to 36 acres. Far West Texas and South Texas were the only regions that had declines in average price per acre, falling 64.9 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

"While the Texas land market remains strong, multiple factors are impacting land sales activity throughout the state," said Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Charles Gilliland. "Rising prices of irrigated farmland and a sluggish agricultural sector are driving up land costs in the Panhandle, and residual effects of the oil and gas downturn have slowed small land sales activity in West and South Texas. Statewide, shortages in prime land are stifling land price growth as developers consider less desirable land tracts."

For more from Gilliland on Texas land markets, listen to this week's Real Estate Red Zone podcast​.​

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