Exploring Texas: Ranches, Farms, and the Talk of the Town with our new Team Members

Fresh Perspective to Unparalleled Expertise

Mar 8, 2024 | Hall and Hall
Exploring Texas: Ranches, Farms, and the Talk of the Town with our new Team Members

The topics of conversation in the Lone Star State are multi-faceted; a lot is happening in 268,597 square miles! The drivers and concerns in northeast Texas are many times different than those in the Panhandle, south Texas, or the Gulf Coast.




How are Texas' Land, Farm, and Ranch Markets Shaping Up?


Chad Dugger: Interest rates are a big deal for both buyers and sellers but especially buyers.

Layne Walker: Agree. Current interest rates are putting many potential buyers, especially on smaller deals, on the sideline.

Monte Lyons: Substantial value increases mean you’re getting a lot less and paying more for it in terms of price and carry.

Brett Grier: The mass amount of developers buying large tracts also drove up some values. They buy 500-2,000 acres for $2,000-$5,000/acre, cutting them up, and selling 10-100 acre tracts for $6,000-$15,000/acre to end-use buyers, most of whom were utilizing some form of financing from 2%-5%. With interest rates rising, it is eliminating those end-use buyers.

Tyler Jacobs: Combine that with year-over-year appreciation. I had someone calculate it at 18% and ask if that could be expected going forward!

Monte: For a lot of savers my age, a recreational ranch was something to look at as both an indulgence and an investment. But now you are looking at getting a lot less of something that isn’t earning a cash return while you have safe options for cash that was earning close to zero a couple of years ago.

Brett: One angle to consider is assumable financing in the 4% range for top-of-market prices. If a seller has an existing loan that was acquired with a lower fixed interest rate, it can add significant value if it is an assumable loan.


Layne: Water is a hot topic as the population continues to grow. Different water sources continue to dwindle. Many times, the first question is if there is well water readily available or is co-op or city water available?

Chad:  The state demographer is predicting a population increase from 40% to 60% by 2050. This is going to have an impact on land values, especially around DFW and the Hill Country.

Tyler: Not to mention Houston and San Antonio.

Brett: Oklahoma is appealing to Texans because of the drought in areas of Texas. When someone can sell a drought-stricken 200-cow place for $3,000-$10,000 per acre and buy a 350-cow place for the same money where it rains 40-50 inches a year, they’ll make the trade.

Jay Leyendecker: Folks are beginning to focus more on large huntable and recreational tracts of land that can still be found under $1,000 per acre in areas of west Texas. There is only so much mule deer country to be had in the state and west Texas fills that gap.

Brett: There is a draw to productive, ag-based properties and irrigated farmland with sensibly improved properties. Grass places with good ground are becoming a hot commodity in the current cattle market.

Monte: It’s not just the soil prices that are potentially objectionable. A lot of these rural properties need work, and the cost of improvements/renovations has increased in percentage terms as much as per acre price increases.

Tyler: Right now, it seems that it’s cheaper to buy than build in most cases.


Jay: There is competition for the cream of the crop; there are plenty of buyers with cash in hand waiting for a perfect ranch. Smaller, unencumbered, slightly lower-grade properties are sitting and can expect to sit for some time. Deals will be engineered through strategy, creativity, and luck. Not by accident.

Brett: Good deals will not be found; they will be made. Buyers will have to actively pursue and make written offers or get creative with financing and create a good deal. There remains a lack of quality properties on the market.

Monte: I think we may be approaching a period like we saw in early 2008 where the market didn’t show significant or even measurable decline, but it did stagnate for an extended period. In some area, that was compounded by the “paradox of prudence,” where it became popular to drive an older vehicle and have college and retirement plans funded before indulging in a second home, retreat, or recreational ranch.

Tyler: That’s the difference between a seller’s market and a stagnated one.

Monte: Yep, when the market stagnates, the 1031 domino effect we have benefited from so greatly will surely slow. However, the predicted population increase could continue to provide a momentum as land further out from metropolitan areas transitions to development as a highest and best use.

Tyler: In any market, the highest quality of any land class is the safest investment for sure.


Monte Lyons – Lubbock, Texas
Tyler Jacobs – College Station, Texas
Jay Leyendecker – Laredo, Texas
Brett Grier – Weatherford, Texas
Layne Walker – Dallas, Texas
Chad Dugger – Lubbock, Texas

JT Holt – Lubbock, Texas