The Annual Land Market Survey

The Land Market Survey is conducted annually each fall by the REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group as a tool for real estate land professionals in all sectors of the business to use for bench-marking and as an informational resource when conducting business.

The survey is designed to reveal current trends and the current state of land markets across the US. RLI encourages all land real estate agents to participate in the survey to ensure it is as accurate in representing the actual state of the land market each year. For more information about this survey, contact us at 800-441-5263.

On April 20, 2021, The Realtors® Land Institute and National Association of Realtors® Research Group released the results of their annual Land Markets Survey. The survey shows that while the COVID-19 pandemic battered the commercial real estate market in 2020, the land market held up to the pandemic’s severe blow, according to survey participants. A 3% increase in land sales contrasts starkly with a 40% drop in commercial sales transactions of properties or portfolios of at least $2.5 million.

Land sales prices were also on the rise, with respondents reporting a 2% increase on average in 2020. In contrast, the Green Street Commercial Price Index, an appraisal-based index of the properties held by REITS, indicates that commercial real estate prices fell 6% in 2020. The strongest price increases were reported in residential (+6.8%) and recreational (+3.6%) land, due to the robust demand in home sales especially in the suburbs and for vacation homes and the acceleration in e-commerce sales.

As for the 2021 outlook, respondents expect an increase in land sales and land prices for all types of land, except for sales of land for office, retail, and hotel use. Respondents expect the strongest sales growth in sales of residential land (5.9%) with prices rising on average by 5%. Sales of timber land are also expected to remain flat. Respondents expect the strongest price growth for industrial and recreational land, each growing at 3% in 2021.