Austin Land Market, Summer of 2010

Buying and Selling Land in today’s Real Estate Market

Land sales continue to be scarce in today’s Austin Real Estate Market. A combination of a lack of confidence in the economy, high asking prices, and a lack of investment buyers willing to assume much risk, have left the market void of activity.

Business owners looking to expand or start up businesses are waiting to see improvement in the economy or at least confidence that the economy is improving before they seem willing to venture into the land buying market. Both business owners and investors are also waiting to see land prices fall from their boom years price levels.

Investors staring at a 3-5+ year buy and hold before they can start new development have little appetite for land speculation. Buyers are begging for good economic news and until they see it, they are placing there money where it can earn at least a few percentage points of interest.

Seller’s for their part could put an end to this stalemate by lowering asking prices, but unless they are feeling economic pressure, most seem content to wait this downturn out and hold onto their land until they can get their current asking price.

Bottom line is that several things need to happen to soften up the Austin area land market.

  1. Continued signs of economic improvement, providing confidence to buyers that their plans for their businesses make sense for today’s market.
  2. A return of confidence to investors so that new development plans can move forward and speculation in the land market start back up.
  3. And the biggest missing ingredient is for Seller’s to lower their asking price.

At the end of the day, sales price is the only sure thing that’s going to motivate buyers to purchase land, and to be clear – this means a sales price that causes the purchaser to overlook their lack of confidence in the market.

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