Sales of farm and recreational property in the mid-south appear to be recession proof. While the rest of the country underwent a severe real estate decline especially in the housing market starting in 2007, farm sales have remained strong, according to Gwin Smith with Rutledge Investment Company.
Rutledge Investment Company, based in Memphis, serves a five state region that includes Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana and Tennessee. “We are breaking records. For the fourth year in a row, RIC and its subsidiaries will have a record year in both sales and loans in 2014,” according to Smith.
Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
- 2014 – by end of the year we will have closed $140,000,000 in loan and real estate sales transactions ($70.3 million real estate sales and $69.7 million in loans)
- 2013 – $104,132,733.00 in loan and real estate sales transactions
- 2012 – $83,189,074 in loan and real estate sales transactions
- 2011 – $116,961,428 in loan and real estate sales transactions
What is behind the record breaking sales? Smith says strong farm incomes and low interest rates have kept land values strong. He also credits the upturn to increased demand from funds and South American investors. According to Smith, “Land buyers have greatly outnumbered those who are willing to sell, creating a continued demand and keeping prices strong for top quality properties.” People are very focused on hard assets versus paper.