Some call them small farms, farmettes, or just large building lots; either way, they were hit hard by the real estate crash.
Unimproved residential lot values are more closely tied to what is going on in residential real estate than commercial real estate, and they ride a steeper roller coaster. When housing is hot, land values are hotter. When housing cools off, land values plummet, and that was the case for properties between 20 and 100 acres in size, what we call “large lots.”
During the past two months, we have begun to see an uptick in interest in Frederick County land listings. We aren’t sure if this is due to consumer confidence or if activity in the housing market has begun to trickle down. Either way, it’s too soon to call it a trend—but we are keeping a close and optimistic eye on Frederick’s land market.
Here are the top seven recent large lot sales in Frederick County. With the volume of closings in this market segment being low the last two years, we’ve cast our net across the last two years to give our readers a better perspective.
All of these properties are “land only” and are usually purchased by families that will conduct some type of sideline agricultural activity on the land, often times an equestrian use or niche farming.
Top Frederick County Large Lot Deals in 2010 and 2011
1. $515, 225 (68 acres) 9315 Frostown Road, Myersville
MacRo Ltd. was the listing agent on this deal, a remainder parcel with expansive views of Middletown Valley. It sold to the State of Maryland in November of 2010 for expansion of South Mountain Battlefield.
2. $450,000 (93 acres) 9300 block Pear Lane, Frederick
This was a foreclosure sale of REO by the lender in January of 2010.
3. $388,500 (25 acres) 9309 Frostown Road, Myersville
MacRo, Ltd. was the listing agent on this deal as well, which closed in November of 2010. The price per acre on this sale was $15,533 – the highest on our list – due primarily to its desirable location and exceptional views from the approved home site. The lesson here is that premium lots can still command premium prices, even in this market. This site was also acquired by the state for South Mountain Battlefield.
4. $360,000 (28 acres) 14528 Peddicord Road, Mt. Airy
This property, which sold in October of 2010, had been on the market for over four years with an original asking price of $675,000. It’s a good example of the decline in land values since 2006.
5. $339,000 (29 acres) 5310 Old Middletown Road, Jefferson
MacRo was listing agent. This property, which closed in May of 2011, previously sold in 2002 for $270,000 and is a good example of the net increase in land values over the past ten years – the first sale was before the “boom” and the most recent sale was after the “bust.” A 25% gain in price over this period, not bad!
6. $305,000 (73 acres) 11900 block of Hessong Bridge Road, Thurmont
The price per acre of $4,162—the lowest on our list—is due to the fact that this was an estate sale of raw farm land with no approval for a private septic system. The sale closed this past November.
7. $295,000 (29 acres) 12259 Oak Hill Road, Woodsboro
Comparing the price per acre on this sale ($10,347) with the Hessong Bridge Road lot ($4,162), which is less than 5 miles away, illustrates two key points. An approved septic system and a well can add roughly $100,000 to property value and ‘price per acre’ drops substantially as the size of the property increases. The sale closed in June of 2010.
Looking for more information on lot and lands sales in Frederick? We covered the really big commercial land deals in our post Top 5 Land Real Estate Deals in Frederick. We’ll review sales of 100+ acre properties, what we classify as farms, in a future post.
This article presented by Dave Wilkinson. Dave is a licensed Realtor and brokers many of MacRo’s real estate building lot listings, using his knowledge of zoning and subdivision regulations, real estate market conditions, and land development options to help MacRo’s clients achieve their goals. Contact Dave at 301-748-5670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.