Lot Values Set New Record Levels in 2021

According to the US Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC), with additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders, lot values for single-family detached housing starts in 2021 increased across the country, with the national value in six out of nine Census division setting new records. The US median lot price now stands at $55,000.

When adjusted for inflation, lot values are now close to the record levels of the 2005–2006 housing boom, when half of lots during that period were valued at over $43,000, which is equivalent to about $57,800 when converted into inflation-adjusted 2021 dollars. The NAHB points out that at the same time home building moved towards smaller lots, which in turn resulted in record high prices per acre.

The New England Census Division continues to hold the honor of most expensive lots, a position it has held for decades. But in 2021 its out did itself, with the median lot price up 67% and reaching $200,000—almost quadruple the national median—while the Pacific Division has the smallest lots. The median lot value reached $ 143,000 in 2021, making it the second most expensive value in the nations and setting a new record high for the division.

The NAHB notes that their analysis is limited to single-family speculatively built homes by year started and with reported sales prices. Custom homes built on the owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor, and the corresponding land values, are not reported in the SOC and as a result, custom homes are excluded from their analysis.

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