The hot housing market and cold vacant land

The real estate market has been really hot in Sacramento, but not for all types of property. The residential market has been “on fire” so to speak, but I wouldn’t characterize vacant land in the same way. While land is still a hot commodity in more established neighborhoods with higher property values (vacant land is often scarce in these areas), it’s really selling for “dirt cheap” in other neighborhoods that have far lower property values. Moreover, the land market is not struggling with an extraordinarily low level of inventory like the single family market right now.

All Residential Land Sales in 95815 and 95838 Zip Code - Trend Graph by Sacramento Appraisal Blog - 530 pixels

As an example, let’s look at all vacant residential land sales in the 95815 and 95838 zip codes of Sacramento under 0.50 acres. I’m appraising a lot in North Sacramento right now, so researching both of these zip codes is definitely relevant.

All land sales in 95815 and 95838 zip code - trend graph by Sacramento Appraisal Blog - 530 pixels

It’s incredible to see how the market has changed through the years and how lots are often selling for less than $15,000 right now. Some of these sites are even improved with utilities and ready for construction, but they’ve been vacant for years since it hasn’t been as profitable to build. In fact, a 6-acre parcel slotted for subdivision development recently sold for $150,000 after having sold for $965,000 in 2006. This is why I recommend for land owners to pay very careful attention to their property taxes to ensure they’re not overpaying. If you need help putting together research for an appeal, let me know.

Land Listings in Sacramento Zip Code 95815 and 95838 Zip Code - Graph by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

Many current listings are priced higher than recent sales. Out of 20 listings above, only one is “pending”. It’s important of course to realize some land is not listed on MLS, but rather sites like LoopNet or CoStar.

Questions: What has been your experience with buying or selling land in the Sacramento area? Anything you’d like to add to the conversation? Do you think now is a good time to buy?

If you have any questions or Sacramento home appraisal or property tax appeal needs, let’s connect by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email (or RSS) or “like” my page on Facebook

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