Land Investment Is Trending Positively

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By Dave Banzhaf, United Country – Mason & Morse Ranch Company

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Over the course of the past few years, both buyers and sellers of farm and ranch land in Colorado have wondered what the future held for land values

Over the course of the past few years, both buyers and sellers of farm and ranch land in Colorado have wondered what the future held for land values. Recently, we’ve heard from most market sectors that activity has increased significantly. That trend has been clearly influenced by discerning buyers rebalancing their investment portfolios away from the equity markets and toward hard assets such as land.

Our most recent metrics clearly support that line of reasoning. Recent data released by United Country Real Estate tells us that in the Rocky Mountain Region our sales volume is up an astounding 58 percent from last year. While increased activity fuels this significant rise, the better metric is that market activity has resulted in closed transactions.

To better understand market trends, it’s also interesting to note that our list-to-sale ratio is 5.9 in 2012 versus 8.8 in 2011. That coupled with a 29-percent increase in average sales price tells us that properties are moving 33 percent faster this year than they did last year and at a higher sales price. The money that’s been sitting on the sidelines has clearly determined now is the time to purchase land.

In the Colorado market, grassland is selling at a premium and moving quickly. Buyers from drought stricken states are actively investing in Colorado and Sellers are benefitting from a market fueled by solid demand and a thriving cattle market.

Dryland, as well as irrigated crop land, is also seeing strong activity and tremendous appreciation in value due to record high commodity prices, burgeoning world population growth and escalating demand in developing countries to consume more meat based protein.

Recently, a property that combines grassland and dryland farming was placed on the market after 40 years of ownership. The Colorado Rolling T Ranch ( is an example of a seller that recognizes now is the time to benefit from healthy market demand by placing his property for sale at an established market price.

While some sectors of the Colorado recreation market remain somewhat flat, the fishing and hunting properties in that market are experiencing a significant upturn that’s focused on a flight to quality. Colorado has long been recognized as one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S., if not the world. National and international investors are actively pursuing those highly sought after properties that have live water, border public lands, offer world class hunting and fishing while providing a lasting legacy for generations to come.

When it comes to the value of land, we’ve often heard “Buy land, they aren’t making any more of it.” Recently, investors have debated whether to invest in an ounce of gold or an acre of land. Based on current market statistics and trend lines, it’s encouraging to see buyers choose land as an investment that provides security, appreciation and in many cases returns that exceed the stock and bond markets.

In this competitive market, opportunities abound for crop land, hunting, fishing, recreational, off grid and other Colorado ranches for sale. To get a sense of the market and review properties in each of the aforementioned market segments, please visit At the end of the day, it’s quite possible your choice may be to invest in an acre of land over an ounce of gold.

About the Author

Dave Banzhaf is an associate broker in the State of Colorado for United Country – Mason & Morse Ranch Company. He is available for consultation and real estate services throughout the state. More information on Dave, visit

About United Country – Mason & Morse Ranch Company

“Ranches Farms Land Sales” –, affiliate of United Country Real Estate, is a leading provider of ranch, timber and farm marketing services across the western United States. Founded in 1998, in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado, the company specializes in the sale of premier ranches, farms and recreational land across the western United States. Combined, Mason & Morse Ranch & Ranch Company agents offer their clients more than 133 years of experience in ranch, farm and recreational real estate sales. Recently recognized by The Land Report as one of America’s Top Brokerages. “Spring Edition - 2012 Featuring America’s Top Brokerages.”

Mason & Morse Ranch Company - affiliate of United Country - is separately owned and operated from Mason Morse Real Estate of Aspen, Colo.

About United Country

United Country Real Estate is the largest fully integrated network of conventional and auction real estate professionals in the United States. The company has been an innovator in real estate marketing since 1925. United Country supports nearly 550 offices across the U.S., Costa Rica, Panama and resort areas of Mexico, with a unique, comprehensive marketing program that includes one of the largest portfolios of property marketing websites (more than 3,000 separate sites and traffic of approximately 3 million visitors per month), multiple United Country real estate catalogs with national distribution , an extensive buyer database and national advertising of local properties that reaches more than 90 million homes per week. United Country has recently been recognized by Franchise Business Review,, The Land Report, Entrepreneur and The Wall Street Journal as one of the top U.S. real estate companies.

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