The 2020 Land Market Survey, released in April, documents just how well the land market held up to the pandemic’s severe pressure. Land sales increased 3% on average, and prices rose 2% on average. The survey was conducted by the REALTORS® Land Institute and the National Association of REALTORS®.
The survey’s 314 respondents reported that the number of land sales rose the most in residential, at 6% on average, followed by sales of land for industrial use at 4%, and recreational and ranch lands, each at 3%.
Underpinning the strong demand for residential land is robust homebuying activity. COVID-19 has heightened people's interest in open spaces, driving the demand for land in the suburbs and for recreational land. NAR’s monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey of members primarily engaged in residential transactions shows homebuying activity in the suburbs and in vacation-home areas was on the rise in 2020. Eighty-three percent of homes sold by REALTORS® last year were in the suburbs, an increase from the 80% share in 2019. Vacation-home sales accounted for 5.5% of existing-home sales in 2020, up from 5% in 2019.