Hill Country Sees High Small Land Sales

Small land sales were the strongest segment of the 2015 Texas real estate market, according to the Texas Small Land Sales Report by the Texas Association of REALTORS®. Small land sales, such as those intended for luxury homes in the Hill Country, surged 18.91 percent compared to 2014, to 6,281 small land tracts sold. The Austin-Waco-Hill Country area recorded the highest number of small land sales, with an increase of 19.74 percent, to 2,062 sales. “Hill Country views and lakeside access makes land in this region among the most sought after in the state,” stated the report. “Investing in Texas land can yield higher returns than traditional investment options,” said Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University Economist Charles Gilliland. “More Texans are purchasing land for recreational purposes or a vacation property, knowing that if they sell in a few years, there’s a good chance they will see a strong return.” Statewide, the average price per acre for small land sales also increased, with a gain of 10.21 percent, to $5,657 per acre. Average tract size dropped 13.33 percent to 39 acres statewide, believed “due to a shortened supply of prime land.” TAR Chairman Leslie Rouda Smith said, “As our state’s population and economy have continued to grow, so has the number of Texans looking for getaway homes or development opportunities. Despite sluggish performance for Texas’ agriculture and oil-and-gas sectors, Texas land sales continued to be incredibly strong in 2015.” The report described the Hill Country land as “almost solely recreational. Properties are ideal for retirees and families seeking a lake property, hunting lease or second home.” The average price per acre in the Hill Country region was $8,355, up 7.7 percent from 2014, and the average tract size was 20 acres, unchanged from 2014. Smith continued, “Whether for weekend getaways, recreational properties, small farming to large ranching operations or commercial developments, there’s no shortage of uses for land tracts in Texas.”