MacRo LTD Blog

The Current Market For Land

 As might be expected, positive economic news is filtering down to the local market for land. 

InCommercial Real Estate the December 7th MacRo Blog, Rocky Mackintosh provided an overview of current economic conditions and how those conditions relate to commercial real estate. This blog zeros in on the market performance for land in Frederick County.

As described in Rocky’s report, data provided by economist Anirban Basu in a November presentation sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge shows the economy buzzing along quite well currently.   

Internationally, global output for 2017 is projected to be 3.7% above 2016 levels and almost every nation is experiencing growth. In the United States, the growth in output is expected to be 2.2% and getting stronger:

  • Growth in the July through August quarter was 3%   
  • In Maryland, the most recent 12-month period showed strong job growth, surprisingly the 8th strongest state in the union.  
  • In Frederick County employment grew at a rate over 3% and the unemployment rate is down to 3.1% (the fifth lowest rate in the state).

As might be expected, this positive economic news is filtering down to the local market for land.   

According to data from the multiple listing service (Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc) for the first eleven months of 2017 the total number of sales is up 53% from 2016.   

In my opinion, the market for land hit a low point in 2010 even though the “great recession” officially ended in July 2009.  Between 2010 and 2017 the number of sales has increased 132%. Looking at an even more specific sector, what I call custom home lots (lot sizes between 1 and 5 acres), the number of sales increased 75% over the past year, and has quadrupled since 2010.  

While the market is on the rebound it should be noted that prices remain in check. Inventories remain relatively large but at some point demand will catch up to supply and price increases will become more pronounced.

If you have any questions regarding land in the mid-Maryland region please feel free to contact Rocky, Ashley or me. 

Here’s wishing “Happy holidays” and a Merry Christmas.

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Dave Wilkinson, Vice President, joined MacRo as Director of Marketing in 1992, and has served as Vice President since 1997. Dave holds a B.S. and M.A. in Economics from the University of Delaware. Dave is a licensed Realtor and brokers most of MacRo’s land and farm deals. 

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