Texas Land Markets Ended 2016 With Small Gains, but Oil Prices are Continuing Challenge Says Top South Texas broker

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The Texas real estate market closed 2016 with small gains in land prices, reports prominent South Texas broker John Walker of Desert Flower Realty. Walker and his team predict oil prices and total personal income will have a long-term impact on land markets in Texas over a 10-yearperiod.

It was a challenging year for Texas land markets, according to leading South Texas broker John Walker. Oil prices were turbulent at best, and the turmoil threatened the overall prosperity of the region. Still, land markets in the state carried on, with small increases in land prices gained. The highlight: a 2.25 percent increase during the second quarter of 2016.

“Price per acre during the second quarter increased by 2.37 percent from the first quarter of 2016,” says Walker, whose firm, Desert Flower Realty, specializes in ranch and residential sales as well as commercial real estate in George West, Three Rivers, and other South Texas areas.

“However,” he adds,“the size of properties closed statewide was down by 76 acres from the recorded acreage in the second quarter of 2015and the total dollar volume of sales of $796 million was a definite dip from the third quarter of 2015’s $910 million.”

Although Texas statewide markets are in good shape, generally speaking, some are not as strong as others. Gulf Coast-Brazos Bottom, Far West Texas, and parts of South Texas lagged behind – a reflection of the energy price declines. Fortunately, land markets in Austin-Waco-Hill Country, Northeast Texas, and the Panhandle and South Plains were able to offset the situation with annualized price increases.

"We've been seeing a lot of caution among buyers recently," says Walker. "Although there were price increases and declines all over the state, data indicates that more buyers are slowly cooling to current prices, postponing land purchases for the mean time. This means that if you’re thinking of buying land now, you probably won’t have a lot of competition."

Aside from oil prices, total personal incomes across the state pose a challenge to the prosperity of the region.

"In the short-term, these factors will hardly affect land markets. In the long run, however, there will be a significant impact," Walker says. "For the most part, whenever there is a jump in personal income or oil prices, we can be sure a boost in land prices will follow."

In addition to land prices, personal incomes and oil prices also have an effect on the number of acres available in the market. While an increase in personal income can cause long-term gains in the total acreage sold, a raise in oil prices can result in a decline in acreage transferred.

"We're lucky with the small gains we've produced in 2016, and we are optimistic the tides will change to pave way for more growth this year," says Walker.

For more information about Texas land markets, specifically in Live Oak County and the rest of the South Texas region, contact John Walker of Desert Flower Realty, Inc. at 361-449-2051 or visit the firm’s office in George West, Texas.

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prominent South Texas broker John Walker
Desert Flower Realty
+1 877-317-4111 Ext: 436
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