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Land sales remain strong, auction levels high

Land sales finished strong in 2013, spurred by good farmer demand for additional land, according to Farmers National Company. It reported record real estate sales of $750 million for 2013, compared to $640 million in 2012.

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Activity during the first half of 2013 slowed slightly because of a surge in ssales at the end of 2012 prompted by tax law changes.

Within Farmers National Company’s 24-state service area, there has been continued widespread auction activity at year-end. Farmers National Company real estate agents worked 45 auctions during November alone. Out of 829 properties sold by Farmers National Company in 2013, more than 40 percent sold at auction.

While land prices have stabilized compared to the double-digit price increases seen in recent years, levels are at historical highs.

A price drop of 40 percent for sugar beets has impacted land values in the Northern Region, including North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota. Income reduction of nearly $350 per acre in some cases is taking some land buyers out of the market, Dickhut said.