Jan 18, 2019
Washington state farmland market stable, realtor says

Washington state land prices appear stable, according to a broker report from Farmers National Company.

Northwest growers continue to implement major reconfigurations of orchards in an attempt to get higher production from the same acres. Higher density planting, re-grafting, and actually total removal of some varieties is taking place, said Flo Sayer, Farmers National Company real estate broker.

In Washington, lenders are tightening financing requirements more than in the past and many growers are experiencing a drop in equity as a result. While there appears to be adequate small properties (less than 20 acres in size) to satisfy the market, larger acreages are scarce and the values to the grower are far less than the sellers and land owners would like for returns. Properties in the Basin have ranged from a high of $18,000 per acre to other areas that have seen a decline in prices to near the $10,000 per acre value. For the most part, prices are at a plateau.

“Interest rates appear to be holding for at least the next few months. This is a good sign that stability in the market is at hand. While not a lot of farmland is changing hands, there is a lot of interest in where trade issues will head in the future. The land market is leveling off and may decline a bit more over the next year or two,” Sayer said in a news release.

Farmers National Company, an agricultural landowner services company, has sold 3,811 properties and more than $2.23 billion of real estate nationally during the last five years.



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