2023 Iowa State University Land Value Survey: Overview

Rabail Chandio
December 2023  [23-WP 655]

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Suggested citation:

Chandio, R. 2023. "2023 Iowa State University Land Value Survey: Overview." Working paper 23-WP 655. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


Abstract

Fluctuations in land values can signal changes in market conditions, impact farmers' financial well-being, and influence policy decisions, making it essential to record and analyze them. Since 1950, the Iowa State University Land Value Survey has been the only data source that provides a county-level land value estimate for each of the 99 counties in Iowa. The 2023 Iowa State University Land Value Survey reported a 3.7% increase to $11,835 per acre for average Iowa farmland values from November 2022 to November 2023. This continues the increase in land values from last year, and the $11,835/acre nominal land value is the highest ever since data collection began in the 1940s. However, the pace of the increase has slowed down. The inflation-adjusted value, $9,131/acre in 2015 dollars, also the highest recorded, saw a very modest increase of 0.5%. While the overall increase is supported by limited land supply, stronger-than-expected crop yields, and ample cash reserves on the farm, the slowing pace and, in some places, the fall in land values is largely attributable to the recent hikes in interest rates, decreasing commodity prices and increasing input costs. All crop reporting districts except the Northwest district reported an increase in land values. The Southeast and South Central districts reported the largest growths of 12.8% and 9.6%, respectively, with all other increases falling below 5%. The Northwest district reported a small decrease of 0.8% in land values. High-quality land saw a 3.5% increase, while medium- and low-quality land increased 3.8% and 4.0%, respectively. In general, the 2023 Iowa State University Land Value Survey results echo other surveys, which all showed relatively stable farmland market values.