Browse Tag: land

USDA Land Values – A Comprehensive Report

The role that agriculture plays in the US economy is enormous, owing in part to the fact that the US is by far the largest exporter of ag products.  As a critical sector in commercial real estate, agriculture receives a great deal of attention from federal government econometric researchers, which gives ag land investors and market watchers a wide range of data to use.  But what are the leading indicators (predictive of future price moves) and what are the trailing indicators (numbers that follow motion in other numbers)?  What’s cause and what’s effect in this marketplace?

As if to answer the question by trying to answer *any and all* questions under the topic’s umbrella, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) publishes a mountain of data concerning the agricultural land market, and it’s available for free.

Beginning with the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s publication, Land Values 2015 Summary , investors can learn recent histories in farm land value by state, broken down by irrigaged and non-irrigated land as well as by a host of other types.

It’s a great starting point to explore the relationships between land prices and the prices of agricultural products, as well as the phenomena of inflation, agricultural land speculation and interest rate policy as they apply to this giant sector of the national commercial land market.

RLI Educational Tracks Are Available

The REALTORS Land Institute (RLI) is ready to help professionals navigate the ins and outs of the agricultural land marketplace with continuing education and conferences focusing on this sector, including the upcoming National Land Conference in Dallas, March 11. Learn more at

Commercial Real Estate News Roundup For August 20, 2015

(Above: Fed Chair Janet Yellen addresses Congress).

Will she or won’t she (raise rates)?, Chinese capital jetting around the globe, Facebook’s $1B like-button storage facility, and hospitality sector optimism put to the test.  It’s all here at the Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for August 20, 2015.









Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for August 11, 2014

Pretending the property business is easy, St. Louis and its hot industrial market, retail lagging the recovery (but not in Miami)  and Macy’s goes shopping for commercial real estate talent – it’s all here in the Commercial Real Estate News Roundup for August 11, 2014.









LANDU Education Week



Are you working toward the prestigious Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) designation? There’s no better time than this month to come to Chicago to pick up all three required courses and all three electives.   Additionally, three courses on the track for ALCE Advanced designation are on offer.

The dates are set for June 22-30. Check out an ALC information page on ALC Education Week here.

Register here. 


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Release The Bakken: The North Dakota-Montana Energy Boom

The Bakken-Three Forks Shale Formation
(The Bakken-Three Forks Shale Formation)

Since the recent development of hydraulic fracturing drilling technology in 2008, vast deposits of US oil and natural gas trapped in shale formations have become reachable, spiking prices for land and development leases in locations not associated with such booms since the 19th century gold rush. The names of shale formations on the lips of property professionals across the country seem to have turned them into amateur geologists.

Rising chatter in the land business includes names such as Monterey Shale (2,000 square miles running north and south through the center of California), Barnett and Eagle Ford Shale (Texas) Utica Shale (most of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia) and the most eye-popping of them all, the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

Shale Far Below, Cap Rates Far Above

The rush to extract the Bakken’s natural gas and oil has produced unexpected volumes of energy, as well as a radically shifted market for some North Dakota land. As the area struggles to accommodate the tidal wave of energy workers that has driven unemployment in North Dakota to below 4%, genuinely rare business conditions prevail.  A quick look around found a trailer park in far northwestern ND is commanding a 24% cap rate and 100% occupancy, one sign among many that a full-bore boom is underway in the Roughrider State.

“An Industry, Not A Boom”

The cycles of capitalism have been historically clear: after boom follows the bust. But will it here?  No, says Tom Rolfstad, executive director of the Williston Economic Development Corporation. During the Bakken Chicago Summit held yesterday. Rolfstad spoke about the oil industry, an industry that has been growing at an amazing clip in North Dakota’s Bakken region.

Thanks to new technology — and fracking — the oil wells in this region of the state are producing more oil than ever. And Williston — a municipality located in the center of the region — is dealing with its own growth because of it. Williston’s population is booming. And the municipality needs everything from apartment units and grocery stores to gas stations and permanent housing. This means there are plenty of opportunity for investors in this region, investors from the Midwest and beyond.

And Rolfstad disagreed that that oil industry in his part of North Dakota is experiencing a boom. A boom, he said, ends quickly. The oil surge in the Bakken, he said, is showing few signs of a quick slowdown. “The oil industry here is going to be around for another 60 years, at least,” he said. “That’s a long time. We’ll be around in 60 years. Will you?”

Upcoming Book Illustrates The Marketplace

The Natural Gas Revolution: At The Pivot Of The World’s Energy Future is a title by Robert Kolb expected to publish this year.  The book lays out the history, costs, benefits and likely future of the post-fracking US energy market, with special attention paid to the Bakken and North Dakota.


Agricultural Land Brokerage Course Announced By REALTORS® Land Institute

Education Program at Realtors Land InstituteAs part of its Land U program, REALTORS® Land Institute has announced its Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing Hybrid Course.  This is one agricultural hybrid not related to a crop: the no-travel course focuses at two subjects at once: land brokerage and land marketing.

Trillion Dollar Market

The agricultural investment land market is estimated at a trillion dollars.  This RLI course delivers the knowledge it takes to work this market, and more:

“To tap into this market, the land professional needs to know what market forces impact the value of agricultural land; the importance of soils and how they determine the highest and best use of the land; why land is an investment that attracts investors from around the world; how to analyze the income potential of agricultural land and estimate probable selling prices and costs; and how to market properties through online, print, electronic media, and RLI marketing sessions.  This course counts as an elective toward earning the Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) Designation. ”

How To Register

Once you’ve registered, all you need to take the course is a computer and a phone.  Check out the details of the RLI Agricultural Land Brokerage and Marketing Hybrid course at