Compass Report: Land Market, July 2012

Land Market Driven by Industrial Build-to-Suits, User-Driven Retail, Multi-Family Urban In-Fill; Developers Seeking Prime Sites with Little Risk

  • Pricing discounts continue as sellers are motivated to sell
  • National homebuilders are gearing up and buying raw land again in select areas within strong school districts
  • Multi-family developers are racing to buy land and obtain approvals; urban in-fill sites are in highest demand
  • Build-to-suit development is driving industrial land sales
  • Retail development is user-driven as expanding retailers take advantage of depressed land prices and obtain good sites
  • Agricultural land prices are soaring as farmers bid prices to new highs

There remains a strong mitigation of risk in the land market. While activity for land positions is increasing for retail, industrial, single-family and multi-family residential, deals are being structured so there is very little risk. Retail is preleased, and users are committed for industrial build-to-suits before developers buy land. National homebuilders are taking down land in smaller, less risky 20-acre tracts. Developers are relying on subsidies, tax credits and attractive interest rates to build both affordable and market-rate projects. Read more