Farmland Values Remain ‘Strong’ and ‘Steady’ as Demand Stays High

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 3:29pm

Farming of all kinds plays a huge part in the economy and way of life of California. Based on that, because we want you to think of Placer Title Company as the ag experts you need when it comes time to buy and sell such land, we wanted to take some time talking about the 2019 Trends Report published by the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers. 


Maybe surprisingly, even with the devastating wildfires across the state last year, “the agriculture industry rolled on steadily in 2018. In fact, (words like) steady, stable and limited (supply) were the most-reported trends in nearly all land classes from every region,” wrote the report’s co-chairs, Janie Gatzman and Tiffany Holmes. The report is full of useful stats, graphs and charts, but this year’s edition is only available for purchase. However, reports from previous years are free. They can be viewed on the chapter’s website.  


When the current report came out, Gatzman also talked about the impacts of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), especially in the Central and Southern San Joaquin Valley regions. The report further addressed how farmers and buyers can no longer “rely purely on a historical understanding of water supplies in a district,” calling now “unprecedented times” because of changes due to climate, population and regulation.


While our many Placer Title locations throughout the state can handle farming transactions anywhere, we wanted to highlight the Sacramento Valley region. Not only is it the first area in the report, it also includes the western part of Placer County. This is an area that has experienced a transaction surge during the last few years. Researchers noted that the trend of the redevelopment of old orchards has run its course as virtually all suitable land has been redeveloped. Softer crop prices coupled with all-time-high land values have also slowed down the practice of “Ag flipping,” according to the report. 


Though this report is focused on land values, it mentions that “rice growers (in the area) experienced a well-received rebound in paddy rice prices in 2017 which continued into 2018,” while talking about how irrigated field/row crop land values remain high. That is very good news for Placer County. Ranchland and pasture areas are also holding their value well.  Overall, analysts conclude, that for the “foreseeable future,” demand will remain high for farmland in this area, especially if it’s suitable for permanent plantings due to the limited amount of such property there is available for sale right now. 


If you are buying or selling land in the Sacramento Valley region – or anywhere else in the state – turn to Placer Title for your closing and escrow needs. We’re already the title partner California customers, Realtors and lenders turn to for their residential and commercial deals, but our team is ready and able to be your caring expert when it comes to your ag transactions too!