ND agricultural land prices remain highGoing once, going twice and agricultural land is ready to be purchased. Agricultural land for sale in North Dakota continues to be sold for high prices, a global phenomenon North Dakota State University Extension Services farm management specialist Andy Swenson said is linked to several factors.
By: Betsy Simon, The Dickinson Press
Going once, going twice and agricultural land is ready to be purchased.
Agricultural land for sale in North Dakota continues to be sold for high prices, a global phenomenon North Dakota State University Extension Services farm management specialist Andy Swenson said is linked to several factors.
“It’s a combination of low interest rates and high farm net incomes, particularly in crop agriculture,” he said. “This period of intensity is vying for the mid-1970s at the hottest time people have experienced land value increases.”
But when might the boom become a bust in the state?
That’s the No. 1 question all buyers are asking right now but no one has a definitive answer, said Woody Barth, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union in Jamestown.
“Land prices are at an all-time high, both ag and pasture land,” he said. “It will last as long as commodity prices remain as high as they are.”
Agricultural property prices in North Dakota are strong for now and it appears that they will remain that way for the foreseeable future, said Neal Messer, who is a broker with Continental Real Estate in Dickinson.
“There is a lot of interest in acquiring land and that has been reflective of the prices we are seeing properties being sold for,” Messer said. “I would say there’s been a constant increase in value of ag properties for a number of years.”
But the length of time it will take for a property at auction to be snatched up will depend on the buyers, said Andy Mrnak.
Mrnak is a Pifer’s Auction & Realty agent who has been a licensed auctioneer since 2007.
“A lot of people want land in North Dakota right now and the prices and numbers we’ve seen in past year have been far and above,” he said. “People seem to be getting between 15 and 20 percent more for their land at auction, as long as they can get people interested in the property and are able to justify the price.
“The prices of the properties are determined strictly by the auction. True market value and fair price are why people go to these auctions.”
Mrnak will be part of the Pifer’s 7th annual Fall Western Dakota Land Auction, Oct. 18 and 19, where seven properties consisting of more than 2,300 acres in Adams, Bowman, Dunn and Slope counties will be on sale.
The sale begins at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Buckskin Grill in Killdeer, where two Dunn County properties will be auctioned.
The sale will resume at 5 p.m. Friday at Pifer’s new office in Bowman.
“We consider any properties from Bismarck and going west for the sale,” Mrnak said “Where we hold the sale each year just depends on where the properties are located in North Dakota.
“In the past, we’ve done sales in Bowman, Slope, Dunn, Golden Valley and Stark counties. All of them have had properties represented in the sale since it first started.”
Even if they are not buying or selling properties at the sale, Mrnak promised that land auction spectators will have a unique experience, especially since this will be the first time for the sale to be held at Pifer’s new facility in Bowman.
“We’ll explain the legal description of each property and talk about each property in great detail before the sale begins,” he said. “After that, the only thing left to do is just to sit back and watch the bidding. It will be fun and entertaining that’s for sure.”
Jim Sabe, who grew up in Scranton and is a Pifer’s auctioneer based out of Bowman, said land auctions provide a broader market for both sellers and buyers.
“They bring more buyers to the table this way,” he said. “Land auctions also help buyers by offering a variety of land types, whether the person looking to purchase is a farmer, rancher or an investor.”
Sabe recommends that potential buyers research the land they have their eyes on.
It is also a good idea, he said, for potential buyers to make sure they have their finances in order before they attend a land auction and make a bid on a property.
It is also important, Sabe added, that people who come to auction make sure they have an idea about their general use for the property they wish to purchase.
he also recommends buyers do the needed research the properties prior to the sale.
Anyone interested in purchasing land at Pifer’s sale can find information about each property on the company’s website, http://www.pifers.com.
He said one of the benefits to the auction land sales is that properties owners have the ability to decide just how involve —- or uninvolved—they want to be in the selling process.
“It’s completely up to them whether they are hands-on or hands-off,” Mrnak said. “We welcome sellers of both scenarios.”
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