Stutsman County land sale sets recordThe price of investing in Stutsman County farmland hit a record high this week with the sale of two parcels Thursday. The price for the half section land approached $1 million.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The price of investing in Stutsman County farmland hit a record high this week with the sale of two parcels Thursday. The price for the half section land approached $1 million.
“We had one quarter (section) sell for $3,450 per acre and another for $2,650 per acre,” said John O’Meara, auction agent and land manager for Pifer’s Auction Service. “That is the highest for Stutsman County land at this point.”
O’Meara said the first parcel included 153 acres of which 145 acres were cropland. The second parcel was 160 deeded acres with 55 acres of pasture land and 103 acres of cropland. There were more than 20 bidders registered for the sale. The land is located a mile south and a mile west of the Spiritwood exit from Interstate 94.
Greg Gasal and Jared Gasal, operating as Gasal Brothers, purchased the land.
“We heard a rumor at the sale it was a record,” said Greg Gasal. “It made sense for us to purchase it because we own land around it and have been renting the land for years.”
Gasal said the land is currently planted to corn. Their current farming operation concentrates on corn and soybeans.
“The land fits with our operation,” he said. “We hadn’t expected the land to go that high and wouldn’t have paid that price for land further away from our operation.”
Gasal described the land as typical for the area.
Noel Johnson, certified real estate appraiser in Jamestown, said land prices have been climbing but agreed that $3,450 per acre was probably a Stutsman County record. He noted some parcels in LaMoure County had recently sold for more than $3,500 per acre.
“You take a look at commodity prices and low interest rates and ownership makes sense,” he said. “You talk to any farmer right now and they’ll say they are doing good.”
Johnson also said many people are considering selling farmland now.
“You can sell land without a lot of tax costs because the capital gains taxes are low,” he said. “In a lot of cases, it’s estates selling the land because the heirs aren’t connected to the land.”
O’Meara said Pifer’s has held a number of land auctions recently and has about 50 scheduled between now and the end of the year.
“Prices are good,” he said. “We had another 320-acre parcel sell last week. That parcel had about 100 acres of standing water and still brought $1,500 per acre for the parcel.”
Johnson said North Dakota farmland has also attracted attention from out-of-state investors.
“Land always has value even if it fluctuates,” he said. “It is tangible asset that doesn’t depreciate.”
Gasal said he anticipates land prices to keep climbing.
“This may be a record price for now but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets topped sooner or later,” he said.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com