Northwest Iowa — A new survey shows farmland values in northwest Iowa and statewide are down once again.
After a price peak in 2013, farmland values have been decreasing, according to the Iowa Chapter of REALTORS® Land Institute. Their March 2016 Land Trends and Values Survey shows a statewide decrease of 5.0% for tillable cropland values from September 2015 to March 2016. Combining this decrease with the 3.7% decrease reported in September 2015 indicates a statewide average decrease of 8.7% for the year from March 1, 2015 to March 1, 2016.
The nine Iowa crop reporting districts all showed a decrease in value. The districts varied from a 2.4% decrease in the EC district to a 6.2% decrease in NW and SC districts since September 2015. Northwest Iowa saw the same decrease as the state as-a-whole in the 12-month period — 8.7 percent.
They say that factors contributing to current farmland values include: lower commodity prices, limited amount of land on the market, and high input costs. Other factors include: lack of stable alternative investments, cash on hand, and increasing interest rates.
Participants in the survey are specialists in farmland, and are asked for their opinions about the current status of the Iowa farmland market. Participants were asked to estimate the average value of farmland as of March 1, 2016. These estimates are for bare, unimproved land with a sale price on a cash basis. Pasture and timberland values were also requested as supplemental information.