Why the National Realtors Land Meeting convinced me we’re still recessing

Last week, I attended the National Realtors Land Meeting in Denver. It was a great opportunity to spend time with other land professionals from across the country. We had excellent speakers with perspectives ranging from economists, tax professionals, mineral and water rights experts to alternative energy advisors. We also had a few speakers discuss what was going on in the local land markets, and I was asked to present on the auction method. Auctions have been an often-turned-to alternative for selling land for several reasons:

  1. Auctions allow for land to be liquid like other asset classes
  2. Land owners today are more conscious of their cost of ownership and understand a quicker sale often results in a higher net price than a prolonged listing process.
  3. When land can be divided and offered in parcels at auction, the sum of the parts are often greater than the entirety, again netting the seller more money.
  4. The seller determines the terms and conditions of the sale, and the property is sold without contingencies.

Because of this, many land professionals are interested in bringing the auction alternative to their clients, which is why we’ve teamed up with Mossy Oak Properties. But more on that to come.

My take on the forecast from these speakers is that prime agricultural land could continue its current appreciation, and with the elections and expiring tax codes approaching, this will continue to create uncertainty. All of that means we are likely still several years away from a recovery, contrary to many national publication articles leading readers to believe we are coming out of the current downturn. I hate to be the pessimist here, but I do believe that’s where the market stands.

Today, I’m on my way to the Alabama RLI meeting in Clanton, Ala., where I look forward to seeing many long-time friends and top land brokers and get learn even more about our market.

What about you? Do you think we’re coming out of the downturn or do you also have reason to believe we may be in this recession a few more years?


~ by Craig King on April 5, 2012.

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