Territory Review 2018

Southwest Texas woke up this period, with 8 sales already in 2018 exceeding $2.4M!There were 14 sales over $1M in the period, and this activity seems to be tied to some longtime Sellers getting realistic with the marketplace in several instances.The activity is also tied to the slight uptick in oil prices this spring, no doubt, as moods and outlooks brighten with the flow of black gold.Pretty land with recreational value and amenities within 2 – 3 hours of San Antonio at around $1,000/acre remains a priority for active buyers.

This area saw an incredible investment play in Val Verde County, financed by Chinese money, with over 110,000 acres changing hands to a single buyer.This is reputed to be a wind/solar play, and there are many large electric transmission lines passing through the ranches that were pieced together over a period of several years.The land traded mostly in the range of $350 - $400/acre in tracts of 15,000 acres and up, and is located north of Comstock between the Devil’s and Pecos Rivers.It is said that a group of area landowners is taking action to prevent the project from moving forward. . . . stay tuned for updates.

The venerable Sycamore Creek Ranch outside of Del Rio, on the market for over 10 years with at least 5 different brokers, finally sold for a reported $925/acre, after being marketed fruitlessly for over a decade at $1,500+/acre.The ranch suffered from exposure to constant flyovers from Laughlin AFB next door, thus the reduced price.

We see the lowest price dryland offering on landsoftexas.com in Val Verde to be $406/acre for a remote 8,600 acres near Pumpville, and the lowest live water asking price in the area is $685/acre for 14,000 acres on the Pecos River.

Edwards County percolated along with 3 reported sales over $2.4M, including the sale of the northern 6,378 acres of Cedar Creek Ranch, which was said to be in the range of $1,400/acre.This ranch featured heavy flowing live water and public road frontage, both area premiums, and had been marketed for many years for $2,600/acre.Another meaningful area sale was the 1,365 acres on RR 335 just south of TX 41, which checked in at $2,551/acre, and featured a heavy flowing spring and high fencing.This property had been under contract to a client from this office for $1,300/acre about 10 years ago.

Values have changed little in Edwards County during the period, with the lowest dryland asking price being $1,250/acre, and premium dryland asking up to $1,925/acre.We continue to see this county as a sleeper, and an excellent spot to park money.

Medina County saw 3 sales over $2.7M in the period, led by the sale of the highly improved Rocky Creek Ranch, being 1,500 high fenced acres that checked in at $3,200/acre, which appears to be an astute purchase.The lowest dryland asking price on landsoftexas.com currently is $2,175/acre, and the presence of Chronic Wasting Disease continues to be an area downer.

Sutton County slacked off from the decent rush of 2016-17, with only one transaction over $1M in the period, being the sale of the 2,298 acre Stewart Ranch for $975/acre.This was an unimproved tract that included some mineral rights.The lowest dryland asking price we presently see on landsotexas.com is $995/acre, and the general range of asking prices for tracts of 1,000 acres and up is $1,200 - $1,500/acre.Sutton County provides liveoak country with mineral resources (in some cases) for relatively cheap prices.However, much of the minerals in the county have been severed from the land, and the production in some areas is fairly dense and concentrated.

Uvalde County checked in with a couple of sales over $2M, including the 3,050 acre Uvalde Oaks Ranch, which checked in at something less than $1,857/acre.This ranch included some West Nueces River (dry) with some bottomland.Another West Nueces sale was the 971 acre Herndon Ranch, which checked in at around $2,000/acre, which also included paved highway frontage on RR 334.This tract was marketed for 561 days before a sale occurred.Presently, we see the lowest dryland asking price in the county check in at $1,698/acre, with the median asking price for average dryland over 750 acres being $2,750/acre.

Real County saw one sale over $1M during the period, but it was a stout one, as the 4,365 acre Double T Ranch was taken down in July, 2017, for a reported price of $2,000/acre.This highly improved hunting property included a massive lodge, paved interior roads and numerous exotic game species.This office is currently marketing the live water Nueces Falls Ranch in the area, and traffic seems to be picking up as summer is upon us.The lowest priced dryland in this county is $1,925/acre, while live water offerings in the range of $5,000 - $6,000/acre are not uncommon.

Kinney County woke up with a bang during the period, showing 3 sales over $1M, including the 10,000 acre Lindsey Creek Ranch, which checked in at $1,372/acre.This high fenced showplace includes a lodge capable of entertaining 100 people, multiple large lakes, exotic animals and first-rate infrastructure, and appears to have been an astute purchase.The lowest dryland price we see in the county presently is $1,250/acre, and the general range of asking prices for tracts of 1,000+ acres is $1,300 - $1,800/acre.

The Northwestern Hill Country and Rolling Plains sizzled during the period, with 17 sales over $2.5M, topped by the sale of the 12,105 acre Brady Creek Ranch in Concho/McCulloch at $1,346/acre.This parcel included some water easements to nearby municipalities, otherwise a sterling tract with minerals.

Sadly, we must report that construction has begun on a large, wind energy project in the Brady Mts., west of Brady.This will undoubtedly have an unfavorable influence on area real estate activity for the short term, particularly if one is in the viewshed of the turbines.Long term effects are still being evaluated in other areas of wind development in Texas.

Mason County saw interesting, solid activity during the period, as this prized zone draws from the “Fredericksburg Craze,” as land values creep upward steadily.This office represented the sellers of the exquisite, 312 acre Orchards at Mason property, which fetched a benchmark price of $14,423/acre, and included fine homes, Llano River frontage, irrigation and water rights.The Llano River Jewel, being 51 acres with a decent home and 1,000+ feet of riverfront, topped $1M in October, 2017, with this office as listing agency. This office represented the buyer of an undeveloped parcel of 208 acres near the Mason Airport that checked in at $3,581/acre after 2.5 years market exposure.The lowest dryland price we see on landsoftexas.com currently in Mason is $2,975/acre, being the Oak Hills Ranch listed by this office.This parcel is plagued by an easement problem, but is otherwise above-average land for the area.We are seeing asking prices of 200+ acres on the Llano River range from $6,950/acre and up. . . and folks, $10,000/acre for Llano River isn’t too far away!

Menard County checked in with a decent activity level, having 3 transactions over $2.2M close during the period.These ranged for $1,475/acre for 3,864 acres of native rangeland to $2,450/acre for an improved hunter of 900 acres.The high end of Menard County is defined by limestone outcrops and heritage oak trees, while the low end is primarily mesquite country. Presently, the lowest dryland asking price we see on landsoftexas.com in Menard is $1,888/acre for 768 acres, and we see a 764 acre San Saba River offering near Hext recently reduced to $4,000/acre.

McCulloch County saw the sale of the 32,000 acre Ford Ranch for around $1,500/acre in June, 2017, and there were 3 other sales exceeding $1M during the period.$2,500/acre seems to be the median price for average dryland at present, and we are seeing some Colorado River offerings still under $4,000/acre.The current lowest dryland asking price on landsoftexas.com is $1,750/acre, and we are seeing plenty of asking prices at $3,000/acre and up, even for 1,000+ acres.

Kimble County saw 4 sales over $1.5M during the period, though the largest was only $1.8M.The lowest dryland asking price we see on landsoftexas.com currently is $2,075/acre, for 1,530 acres of rocky divide country north of Junction.There was an unreported sale of the 15,000 acre Rio Bonita Ranch on the headwaters of Johnson Creek for about $2,000/acre, but this has not been confirmed.

San Saba County saw 3 sales top $1M during the period, including the sale of the Rocking Horse Ranch of 871 acres for $2,181/acre.This tract included a sliver of land reaching the Colorado River.The current lowest asking price for San Saba land on landsoftexas.com is $2,450/acre, up about 8% from a year ago, and we continue to feel strongly that this is a sleeper investment area.

Concho County saw the aforementioned Brady Creek Ranch sale, and 651 acres on the Concho River, after 3+ years of exposure, finally sold for something in the range of $2,500/acre.Currently, the lowest asking price for dryland in Concho is $1,591/acre for a 1,445 acre parcel near Millersview, and we see larger tracts offered largely in the range of $1,500 - $2,000/acre in this zone.

Schleicher County checked in with 4 sales over $1M in the period, including the 3,568 acre Dry Dove Creek Draw Ranch that brought $975/acre.This is an unimproved grazer/hunter that sold with 12.5% minerals.Currently, on landsoftexs.com, the lowest dryland offering in the county is $1,125/acre, same as last year.The range of asking prices is tight here, with over 50% of the offerings being priced within 10% of each other, per acre-wise.

Runnels County saw 3 sales over $1M in the period, including the sale of the 3,842 acre Triangle Ranch, which checked in at around $1,250/acre.This is an average hunter/grazer that had no oaks and average improvements. The current lowest dryland asking price in landsoftexas.com is $1,350/acre for the county, and we are still seeing some Colorado River asking prices below $3,000/acre.Oaks are few and far between in this zone, and wind farms loom nearby.

Burnet/Lampasas Counties are hold haunts of this broker that are coming back into play at this time, due to their daunting location in the path of Austin’s western and northwestern growth.This is evidenced by the fact that there were 11 transactions over $1M in these two counties during the period, 5 of which exceed $3.75M.Many sales are in the range of $2,500 - $3,000/acre for dryland, and the lowest dryland asking price on landsoftexas.com is presently $3,150/acre.

The Central, Eastern and Southern Hill Country rock on, as they absorb the ridiculous tech wealth that continues to be generated in the Austin/San Antonio corridor.This office has strong history in this zone, and has seen land values increase here up to twentyfold over the decades.

Hays County came to life with 2 sales over $7.5M, including the sale of the 1,460 acre Heaton Hollow Ranch west of Wimberly, which checked in at around $8,000/acre.This is a future development tract that had light restrictions placed on it at closing.We also saw the sale of 193 acres on US 290 west of Dripping Springs check in at $16,000/acre, which included an 8 – 10 acre lake.The lowest priced offering we see on landsoftexas.com at present checks in at $7,506/acre, an increase of about 40% over last year!

Blanco County was good to this office last year, with 5 sales in an 18 month period, led by the successful division of the 1,144 acre Josey Ranch, with tracts of 104 – 629 acres averaging around $7,350/acre.This was an above average tract only 3 miles from Blanco, and 3 of the sales were to neighbors.The lowest asking price we see in the county at present is $7,350/acre for an unimproved hunter near Round Mountain, and median asking price in the county is now $10,000/acre.

Kendall County, former long-time residence of this broker, saw 5 ranchland sales of over $1.45M during the period, including this office’s sale of the 3,346 acre Dunner’s Mountain Ranch, near Sisterdale, for a confidential price.Impressive commercial sales along I-10 in the southern part of the county no doubt qualify for discussion due to sales prices, however they are not regarded as “ranchland” for our purposes.The current lowest asking price on landsoftexas.com for Kendall County is $6,800/acre for a very nice 607 acres with easement access, and this office’s 1,225 acre Austin Lakes Ranch listing is presently drawing good interest at $14.36M.

Gillespie County sizzled along, with 15 reported sales over $1M during the period, and an appraisal district that appears to be very busy, especially in the eastern part of the county along US 290 – the “Wine Corridor.”This county is rapidly being fragmented, especially near the “Wine Corridor,” with hilltop homesites being developed and sold as fast as they can get the roads up to them.At present, the lowest price we see on landsoftexas.com for dryland here is $4,750/acre, for a “roughie” partly located in Llano County.

Kerr County checked in with 9 sales over $1M during the period, led by the sale of the highly improved Lone Hollow Ranch, being 1,810 acres @ $12M, which included a 15,000 sf lodge.Divide country in the western part of the county continues to average around $2,500/acre, while the lowest dryland we see presently on landsoftexas.com is $1,950/acre.

Llano County showed 5 sales over $1M for the period, but nothing larger than $2.2M.An extra-nice 400 acres NW of Llano fetched $5,500/acre, while several $15M+ offerings languished.The current lowest price we see on landsoftexas.com for Llano dryland is $4,950/acre, up 10% from last year, and we see 10 – 25 acre Llano River tracts in the Castell area reaching $25,000/acre.

Bandera County saw 4 sales in the period exceed $1M, including a very nice 575 acres with large lake and nice home near Vanderpool, for $6,086/acre.The nice, mid-size live water places are getting up close to $10,000/acre, and at present, the lowest asking price we see in the county on landsoftexas.com is $3,750/acre for 1,000 acres near Tarpley.

We are seeing oil up over $60/barrel now, and it briefly flirted with $75 about 10 days before this writing.Smart folks say Texas works with $60 oil, so I’m all in with that.We all know that Texas will never be a rational, production-based real estate economy like other parts of the country, and that it will come and go in streaks and cycles like it always has. . . closely tied to the petro sector.We will always need oil, so the long term future is always good here.