Investors Eye ‘Farmland Boom’ in Midwest

January 3, 2012

Farmland values continue to soar in the Midwest, climbing 25 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve of Chicago. Rising prices in corn and other agriculture has sent land prices soaring. 

In Iowa alone, prices per acre have increased more than 30 percent in the past year, MSN reports. 

At auctions, farmland is selling at $20,000 per acre — prices that are “once in a lifetime deal,” says auctioneer Jeffrey Obrecht. 

The sudden rise in prices has caused investors to take notice. 

“There isn’t a kind of person that I haven’t heard from somewhere, whether it’s the farmers from North Dakota, whether it’s a police officer from New York, bankers in Chicago and attorneys from the south,” Jason Smith, a real estate pro with Dreamdirt, told MSN about the farmland buying rush.  “People, and especially business owners that have cash to park, are bringing it up here to Iowa, bringing it up to the Midwest.” 

Many of the land purchases are being made with cash or investors are putting 40 to 50 percent down on the loan, housing experts say. 

“Farmland doesn’t come on the market that often.  It’s not like urban real estate where you see signs in the neighborhoods all the time,” Dan Piller, an agricultural reporter for The Des Moines Register, told MSN. “A good piece of farmland may only become available once every 50 years.”

Source: “On Eve of Caucus, a Different Boom in Iowa: Real Estate Prices Soar for Farmland,” MSN (Jan. 2, 2011)

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