MacRo LTD Blog

Lots of Land

While the real estate market experienced an “enhanced” cycle over the past ten years, the lot and land sub-sector has been subject to even greater volatility – like a business cycle on steroids. 

Macro_Blog_MacroReportSpring2014The residential bubble of the mid 2000’s morphed into The Great Recession by the end of the decade. A question I’m often asked is: where in the cycle are we currently and what is the market value of my land?
The chart below shows the performance of what I’ll call “custom home lots” in Frederick County over the past 10 years, where custom home lots are defined to be 1 to 2 acres in size, have existing water and sewer or septic supply, and are sold through the local multiple listing service (MRIS).
Year # Sales Median Price
2004 18 $122,000
2005 34 $200,000
2006 16 $253,000
2007 20 $209,000
2008 7 $175,000
2009 8 $154,000
2010 9 $128,000
2011 9 $103,000
2012 14 $112,000
2013 19 $105,000

At the turn of the millennium, the median price of a custom home lot was around $70,000 and sales volume was about 40 lots per year. Over the next six years a shortage of custom home lots developed and prices shot up: the median price peaked at over $250,000 in 2006. Prices reached an unsustainable level, and sales dropped. Then in 2008 the economy crashed and custom lot sales plummeted – falling below 10 lots per year.

The good news is that since the trough of 2008, sales have increased every year, albeit at a modest rate. While MacRo, Ltd. is not expecting a rapid run up in prices anytime soon, it is encouraging to see prices stabilizing and the number of transactions increasing as is typical in a period of recovery.

If you’re in the market to sell or purchase lots, land or farms, please give me a call. I’d be honored to assist you in your evaluation and help you achieve your goals. 

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Contact Dave Wilkinson at
301-698-9696 ext. 203 or


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