Land markets are Cyclical. Here is a brief history: Olympic Peninsula land saw a ten-year long buyers market during the nineties with only 2% – 4% increases in value per year. Between 2003 and 2006 the land market made unprecedented gains. During 2001 in Clallam County, 518 land listings sold for 30 million dollars. 2005 saw 670 land listings sell for 81 million. This represents about a 270% gain in land sales volume in just four years! Although the number of sales rose 24%, most of this gain came from the rising land values.
By 2007 the real estate bubble began to burst, with the financial industry and recession right behind it. At the same time many new sub-divisions especially in Sequim were coming on market as land was becoming very difficult to sell. Between 2009 and 2012 sales volume bottomed out at only about 150 units selling for about 12 million per year. In this period land values continued to fall, taking away the recent appreciation.
Has the worm has turned? The last two years we have seen substantial volume gains. Land sales increased 35% in 2015 and 24% in 2016. Land value is rising now as inventory of land has has decreased to under 500 listings…more to come.