Real estate sales volume for Farmers National Co. is up 21 percent during the first half of its fiscal year compared to last year and up 38 percent from a year earlier with an increase in both individual sales transactions and acres sold.
“Our acres sold are on the increase as well, increasing 10 percent from last year and 27 percent compared to two years ago,” said Randy Dickhut, FNC senior vice president for real estate operations. “Transaction volume has also been on the increase, up 47 percent over the last two years.”
Sales activity continues to be driven primarily by the non-operating landowner, he said. So far, few farm operators are selling land and investors continue to be in the market looking for opportunities to add acres to their holdings. The slow decline in the land market is part of the reason some are selling, he said.
“Some landowners are making the decision that now is the time to sell and capture some of the land appreciation of the last few years. There is still good demand for land in most of our company’s 28-state service area,” he said. “The number of buyers and sellers for good land in most markets is in equilibrium, and that seems to be helping our land sales. As long as the seller is realistic about today’s market price for land in their area, there are buyers looking to buy. I credit our increases in the face of a slowing land market to our large network agents of educating their clients on the current market prospects.”
Land auction activity continues to be strong with a 12 percent increase in the number of auctions sales over last year at this time.