It seems as though there is one question asked of Weigand’s farm and ranch team more than any other: “How are land prices?” Many Kansas residents feel connected to the farming, ranching, and hunting properties that we have the great fortune of selling across the state. Our team is uniquely situated to assess the land market’s performance in different parts of the state due to the wide geographic area we cover. How are land prices? Well, it depends.
Currently, market conditions in the agriculture sector have caused sales volume to decrease. Farmers continue to grind through a tough economic situation as commodity prices trend lower and difficult weather patterns have persisted this past year. There are also concerns that the current political environment and world economic factors could affect the livelihood of Kansas farmers and ranchers. On the plus side, the price of oil has stabilized somewhat, benefiting some farmers and ranchers. These combined factors have ultimately resulted in a lower supply of land for sale and the farm and ranch sector seeing one of the lowest volumes of farmland sold in recent times.
Patterns in today’s land market are more sporadic than they have been in the past. While some sales are producing strong numbers, there are a number of auctions across the state with no sales. Kansas’s different regions are performing at varying levels. West of Sedgwick County there has been a greater decline in farmland and pasture prices, although they seem to be more stabilized this year. East of Sedgwick County there are strong land prices with higher demand. The land in close proximity to the Wichita metro area continues to generate strong interest and sale prices. As a result of the strength of the economy and business community, quality hunting and recreational properties are in high demand as well.
Across the state, the farm and ranch sector has remained steady considering some of the market challenges being faced. The combination of a lower supply of land on the market, the presence of cash buyers, strong business economics, and the desire to add land to portfolios as a diversified asset have helped keep land prices more stable than anticipated.