$6,708 Land Value Average Is Iowa Record High

Dec. 22, 2011

Michael Duffy, Iowa State University economics professor and extension economist, started conducting the Iowa Land Value Survey in 1986, when it was in its 46th year. Twenty-six survey years later, he reported one of the most remarkable years in Iowa land value history during a Dec. 14, 2011, news conference.

The 32.5 percentage increase reported for 2011 was the highest ever recorded by the Iowa State University land value survey. The previous high was 31.7 percent increase recorded in 1973. Duffy also reported a $6,708 state average for all grades of land, which when adjusted for inflation, is at an all-time high. The previous inflation adjusted high was in 1979.  

The survey, sponsored annually by the ISU Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, is based on reports by licensed real estate brokers and selected individuals considered to be knowledgeable of land market conditions. Respondents are asked to report on more than one county if they are knowledgeable about the land markets, and values are gathered for all 99 Iowa counties. The survey is intended to provide information on general land value trends, geographical land price relationships and factors influencing the Iowa land market.

"The survey is very valuable - to landowners, farm operators, lawyers, bankers, professional farm managers, real estate professionals, farm appraisals and the general public," said Loyd Brown, Hertz Farm Management, Inc. president.

“We wish all the Midwest states would have such an extensive, informative and accurate report on their farmland trends and values.”

- Loyd Brown, Hertz Farm Management, Inc. President

Brown says his farm management group includes information and data from the annual report in educational seminars, speaking opportunities, in their year end annual reports to farm management clients and in their farm appraisals. "We wish all the Midwest states would have such an extensive, informative and accurate report on their farmland trends and values."

Participants are asked in the survey to estimate the value of high, medium and low grade land in their county. Land values for every Iowa county are then reported as part of the survey. Comparative sales and other factors are taken into account by the respondents in making these value estimates. "For now, I see the agricultural economy remaining strong, and the farm values will continue to rise, although perhaps not at rates of 32 percent," Duffy said.

 Maps, charts, articles and Duffy’s news conference illustrate and explain the 2011 survey findings; all are available online.


For more information about the survey or farmland values contact:
Michael Duffy, ISU Extension economist, 515-294-6160, mduffy@iastate.edu