News & Features

Kelley’s Market Trends: Lots 3 Acres or Smaller

In 2017, the number of sales of these lots increased by nearly 15 percent and the median price increased 22 percent

This week we’ll look at the market for residential building lots.   This includes city lot sales as well as residential lots in the county that are three acres or less in size. Waterfront lots are excluded because they tend to be higher value sites that are in a class by themselves.   

The number of building lot sales were steadily increasing and peaked in 2005 with 743 reported sales with a median price of $78,000. In 2006 and 2007 the number of sales that were reported through the Realtor’s MLS system shows a large drop as the median price increased to its peak of $100,000 in 2006. Over the next three years the number of sales plunged to a low of 91 in 2009.

The median price also plunged from $100,000 in 2006 to a low of $44,000 in 2013. This 56 percent drop in the median price of building lots is much greater than the 28 percent decline that was seen with improved residential properties.

Over the last five years the market for residential building lots has steadily been improving, but neither the number of sales nor the prices have recovered to what they were prior to the recent recession. Over the last three years, the median price of these small building lots has increased an average of 14.6 percent per year.

In 2017, the number of sales of these lots have increased by nearly 15 percent, the median price increased 22 percent to $75,000 and the average price increased around 12% to $88,932.

It must be noted that a substantial number of building lot sales are directly from the developer to the builder and I do not have access to that data.  Because of this, it is likely that the actual number of residential lot sales is greater than the numbers I am reporting. (2017 represents only 11.5 months, therefore it is likely that the entire year’s total will be slightly higher than what I am showing.)

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