U.S. Single-Family Detached Spec Home Lot Prices Continue to Escalate

Original Source:
Lot Values Trend Higher

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, with additional analysis provided by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) lot values for single-family detached spec homes continued to rise, with national values reaching a new high in 2023. The U.S. median lot value for single family detached for-sale homes started in 2023 stood at $58,000, with half of the lots valued higher and half of the lots valued lower than the median.

The NAHB points out that It is important to keep in mind that new spec home construction experienced a dramatic shift towards smaller lots in recent years. Since the housing boom of 2005-2006, the share of lots under 1/5 of an acre rose from 48% in 2005 to 65% in 2023. So even though current median lot values are not record high in real terms, they reflect a very different mix of lots compared to the housing boom years or even a decade ago.

There is a substantial variation in lot values and appreciation across the US regions. The breakdown is:

  • The Pacific division has the smallest lots. However, its median lot value reached $147,000 in 2023, the second highest median in the nation. As a result, Pacific division lots stand out for being the most expensive in the nation in terms of per acre costs.
  • The neighboring Mountain division hit a new record high, with half of the lots for SFD spec home starts valued at or more than $90,000. This made the Mountain division lots the third most expensive in the US.
  • The East South-Central and South Atlantic divisions are home to some of the least expensive spec home lots in the nation. The East South-Central division recorded the lowest median lot value, with half of SFD spec homes started in 2023 registering lot values of $46,000 or less.
  • Lots in the West South-Central, which includes Texas, appreciated dramatically during the last decade. In 2012, half of the SFD spec homes were started on lots valued at or below $30,000, half of the current median of $61,000.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.