Several factors will come into play in 2017 that will determine the direction of land values.
Randy Dickhut, senior vice president of real estate operations for Farmers National Co., said that in the past three years, agricultural landowners in many regions across the country have seen a decline in profits, which also pushed land values lower.
“This winter, questions abound as to the direction of commodity prices, interest rates, inflation, challenges in the world economy, weather and U.S. tax law,” Dickhut said. “Buyers of ag land are asking if it is an opportune time to make a purchase of a farm or ranch, while sellers are asking if the market dynamics are indicating that it is good time to sell land. Depending on location, quality of land and other factors, our agents report seeing regions and local areas where land prices are stable to somewhat strengthening post-2016 harvest. Then there are other areas where land values have continued to decline.”
A key factor impacting land prices will be interest rates, Dickhut said. Grain and livestock prices affecting farm and ranch income also will influence land values.
“Foreign trade policy and its effect on agriculture will be closely watched over the next few months. Potential changes in tax laws could affect estate taxation and capital gains rules that in turn influence buying and selling decisions,” Dickhut said.