PodcastLand Development

Where Has All the Land Gone?


Dean Wehrli

Shelly Chen

April 13, 2021

Today’s housing market is piping hot, and people are asking two big questions: “Where can I buy more land?” and “How can we make more developable land?” Before you resort to creating islands off the coast of California, give this week’s New Home Insights podcast a listen. In this podcast Greg Vogel, founder and CEO of Land Advisors, gives us a rundown on today’s hottest topics related to land. Below are some key takeaways.

Featured guest

Greg Vogel, Founder and CEO, Land Advisors Organization

Yesterday's Market

  • Despite solid to strong market conditions, the 2010s did not see a land-buying spree, since high and rising horizontal and vertical development costs put a lid on land prices.
  • Absorption rates and pricing power also played a part in restricting the land market.

Today's Market

  • Heightened sales paces and tremendous price appreciation have removed that lid.
  • All major markets are hot, hot, hot.
  • Larger land takedowns are more common to (1) maintain a steady stream of available lots and (2) tap into land value appreciation during hold periods.
  • Builders are generally more willing to buy raw land.
  • Lot to home price ratios are up everywhere by about 20% (four percentage points), and this is true across all price niches.

Tomorrow's Market

  • Competition for land between for-sale and build-to-rent land buyers will increase significantly.

  • Major infrastructure needs to be done to ensure continued supply of developable land. Support from state and federal governments is needed to help make this happen.

  • Use of structured financing and partnerships with major investors will increase.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.
Shelly Chen
Research Analyst II
Shelly is responsible for working on various research projects as it relates to residential for-sale, including supporting our Burns Home Builder Analysis and Forecast report.

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