The following information provides data on the increased sales of small land parcels in Texas. Texas land sales have rebounded nicely following an anemic downturn during the real estate recession in 2009-2010. This condensed report is courtesy of the Texas A&M Real Center’s Texas Small Land Sales Report. In this article, we focus on the Dallas and Houston regions, just two of the seven regions in Texas. To view the Texas Small Land Sales Report in its entirety, visit TexasRealEstate.com.
The Texas Small Land Sales Report is a combination of 2013 small land sales data provided by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University and local insights from Texas REALTOR® leaders in each market. The Texas Association of REALTORS® distributes insights about the Texas housing market each month, including quarterly market statistics, trends among homebuyers and sellers, luxury home sales, international trends, and more.
Texas and its seven regions are home to a diverse scope of land characteristics from rugged desert arroyos to subtropical thickets and from sea-level plains to alpine vistas. This extreme variety in terrain and size affects the ownership and marketing of land significantly. Dan Hatfield, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®, commented: “The same things driving demand for residential real estate – jobs and affordability – are driving small land sales in Texas. Texans are looking for vacation properties, industries are looking to support their operations and investors are looking for new development opportunities. Over the last decade, that has driven almost double the number of land sale purchases.”
• Small land sales in Texas had 4,189 sales in 2013.
• The median tract size in Texas was 20 acres.
• Average price per acre for Texas was $4,849 in 2013. Adjusted for inflation, this equates to $875* per acre (based on the year 1966).
Region Four – Northeast Texas
Region Four is located in the Northeast portion of Texas, encompassing the Metropolitan Statistical Areas for Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Wichita Falls, Sherman-Denison, Texarkana, Longview and Tyler. The north and east sides of the region are bordered by Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. In this region, small land sales consist of land parcels 33 acres or smaller.
There has a been significant amount of land being subdivided into either residential or recreational tracts coming down from the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metroplex and up from the northern Houston area due to Region Five’s Piney Wood landscape, which has good interior roads, surface water and woodland for hunting. Region Four is also the largest timber producer in the state.
“The continuing subdivision of pasture lands has significantly reduced sales that were larger than 300 acres,” said Renee Harvey, a Texas REALTOR® actively involved in small land sales in Region Four. “Well over half of the land in Region Four is either native or improved pasture tracts and because of the demand for
rural residency, 300 acre land sales became four, five or even six purchases.”
• Small land sales in Region Four had 1,185 sales in 2013.
• The median tract size in Region Four was 18 acres.
• The volume of small land sales for Region Four in 2013 comprised 28.29 percent of all small land sales statewide.
“Region Five’s heavy timber influence was business as usual in 2013,” adds Harvey. “Paper companies in Texas and Louisiana have been showing signs of longer-term commitments with larger land purchases, but the amount of purchase increased slightly in 2013.”
• Average price per acre for Region Four was $6,968 in 2013. Adjusted for inflation, this equates to $1,258* per acre.
• Region Four had the third-highest price per acre in the state in 2013. Harvey concludes, “The popularity of Region Four stems from its diverse landscapes. There was stable demand for crop land and pasture tracts, and timber land tracts were bought up and resold as usual.
“However, the heaviest motivators for purchasing land in 2013 were rural residency and recreation. These smaller purchases resulted in almost four times as many land sales in 2013 as in 2012.”
Region Five – Gulf Coast – Brazos Bottom
The City of Houston, along with the Woodlands and Katy, has long dominated the majority of Region Five. North of Houston, residential development is active and throughout the region, individuals purchase land for investment and recreational use.
“Land sales in recent years have increased significantly as development in the Houston area has continued to expand geographically in places like the Woodlands and along the energy corridor,” said Cathy Cole, a Texas REALTOR® active in land sales in the region. “Today, workers can commute from an outlying community like Brenham to a business district like The Woodlands as easily as they can from a suburb to downtown Houston, leading more property owners to purchase small land tracts as homesteads.”
• Region Five featured 815 small land sales in 2013.
• The median tract size in Region Five was 20 acres.
• The volume of small land sales for Region Five in 2013 comprised 19.45 percent of all small land sales statewide. Region Five is located to the southeast of the state and includes one of the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown in addition to College Station-Bryan, Victoria and Beaumont-Port Arthur. In this region, small land sales consist of land parcels 42 acres or smaller.
Cole continued, “Land prices in Region Five have historically been very affordable, but we’re starting to see those increase with rising demand. That’s especially true the closer you get to the Houston area.”
• Average price per acre for Region Five was $9,195 in 2013. Adjusted for inflation, this equates to $1,660* per acre.
• Region Five had the highest price per acre in the state in 2013.
If you have questions about buying or selling land in the Dallas or Houston regions, contact Troy Corman with t2 Real Estate at 214-827-1200.