Local land sales slowing down, but not prices 

Don Fenley 

Vacant land prices are holding up well in a market that is slowing from last year’s torrid pace. 

April area sales were down 15.7%. Pending sales were down 1.6%. Active listings were down 11.3%, and so were new listings. But vacant land prices were 4% better than last year. And up 17.8% from the first four months of last year. 

According to the Realtors Land Institute (RLI) and the National Association of Realtors Research Group, land sales rose an average of 6% last year while prices were up 7%.  

According to NETAR’s Land Sales Report, local sales were up 41% last year and prices were up 21.5%. Local prices began a double-digit year-over-year price increase pattern in 2019. 

The national land survey shows that as the effects of the pandemic began to wane in 2021, the land market continued to thrive as a vibrant part of real estate buying and selling.  

Locally, it was a little more than vibrant. Vacant land sales boomed, and they’re still strong when you consider that this year’s sales and prices are being compared to the best ever local land market in modern times.  

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said, “Even with rising interest rates, I expect sustained growth in land sale and prices this year, driven particularly by the demand for multifamily and single-family housing needs. The shift from just-in-time to just-in-case inventory management amid supply chain issues will continue to drive the demand for land for new warehouses. Moreover, agricultural grain prices will remain elevated due to the war in Ukraine and thereby boost demand for farmland.” 

NETAR is the voice for real estate in Northeast Tennessee. It is the largest trade association in the Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia region, representing over 1,800+ members and 100+ business partners involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. Weekly market reports and information for both consumers and members are available on the NETAR website at https://netar.us