Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How Far Have Land Prices Fallen?

A close friend and client of mine ask me the other day… ‘How Far Have Land Prices Dropped?’   Well, that’s sort of a loaded question. You heard of the old adage location, location, location…well that applies here as well. What I can tell you, there are trends and the counties or areas where the prices went the highest had the furthest to fall. In other words, the bigger the bubble, the bigger the pop. The huge bubbles where primarily caused by speculation in the market and those counties where the development was occurring experienced the largest % drops. Prices went up because developers were buying property and causing increases in sale prices as seen in the Harris County numbers. Harris County is a bedroom community for Columbus, Georgia. Meriwether and Talbot County sales were primarily made up of recreational and timberland sales.  Now let’s look at some specifics. I primarily work in the west central Georgia area so I picked some counties that I work in, Harris, Meriwether and Talbot as my sample. Following is a chart showing prices for 2007, 2010 and the percent drop in prices.

2007 $/Acre
2010 $/Acre
% Difference
   These are my best estimate of average county prices. These prices were calculated using information gathered from courthouse, appraisers etc. Individual sales data can vary widely.
   You heard the saying ‘the bigger they are, the harder they fall’, well that is exactly what happened.  Hopefully we have found the bottom, and now we can start moving some real property at fair prices!!
For Information on Buying or Selling Land contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at      (706) 457-0090

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I Am Planning to Thin My Timber…..What Do I Need To Know?

To start with, I would engage the services of a Registered Forester. I prefer to remove every fifth row and thin in between leaving a residual basal area of 70-75 square feet of dominant and co-dominant trees. Generally you would be leaving about 200 – 225 trees per acre. You only get one chance at this and you cannot put the trees back after they are cut, so do it right !!  All intermediate cuttings are designed to improve the value and quality of the trees in the final harvest. Generally, there are 2 thinnings then a final cut. The first thinning is done about age 15. You will remove 25-35 tons leaving about 40-50 tons per acre. This will generate $225-$275 per acre. The second thinning will be done about age 21-22. You will remove 30-35 tons per acre leaving 45-55 tons per acre, this will generate $425-$475 per acre. The final harvest will remove 75-85 tons per acre generating $2000-$2600 per acre.

The numbers mentioned above are average numbers from a 275,000 acre land base in the Southeast. Actual numbers can vary depending on site index and local market prices.

For Information on Buying or Selling Land contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at      (706) 457-0090