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Land Is in Demand: Land Purchases Pick Up During Pandemic

February 19, 2021

The nation’s leading land brokers report both an increase in business and an uptick in land values as rural land grew in demand last year, according to a new survey of more than 100 land brokers nationwide conducted by the National Land Realty, a real estate land brokerage. 2021 is poised to be another strong year for land purchases, the report says.

More than half of the surveyed brokers reported an increase in their business in 2020 over 2019. More than 60% of brokers reported seeing an increase in land values, particularly recreational land and farmland.

“Investors rediscovered a safe haven in land real estate in 2020, which made for a very good year for land sales, with record-breaking volume in the second half of the year,” says Jason Walter, CEO of National Land Realty. “And with all of the traumatic events of 2020, people are looking to not only invest in land outside of the city, but they are also wanting to live on the land they buy, to be able to breathe the fresh COVID-free air and reconnect with the great outdoors.”

Indeed, brokers reported that the majority of the most recent buyers of land are coming from urban or suburban areas.

Nearly 90% of the brokers surveyed believe that land sales will continue to perform strongly over the next year to 18 months, according to the survey. “And more than 75 percent of [land brokers] believe their business will grow at least 5 percent, if not more than 10 percent, in that same time frame,” adds Jason Burbage, president of National Land Realty.

The biggest challenges in 2021 moving forward, land brokers say, will center around geopolitical risk (nearly 24%), followed by financing or interest rate risk (20%) and COVID-related issues (17%).