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Auction of 506 acres shows 'optimism is back' in farmland

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (Dec. 11, 2009) - The December 9 auction of 506 acres southwest of Frankfort, Ind., drew a capacity crowd of bidders, resulting in the sale of the land for $3,345,000, according to Rex Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company.

"The optimism is back in the market, especially for higher quality land. The results of this sale confirm what we have seen over the last 90 days in other sales of high-quality land," said Schrader after the sale, which included 486 acres of prime Indiana farmland, bringing prices ranging as high as $7,000 per acre. "Land in the top one-third in terms of quality is up a good 10 percent during this quarter, and we are seeing new records for land prices in many counties," he said.

The 506 acres sold to a combination of five different buyers:

- Three acres with buildings for $140,000;
- 217 acres for $1,410,000 ($6,498 per acre);
- 118 acres for $800,000 ($6,780 per acre);
- 138 acres for $785,000 ($5,588 per acre); and
- 30 acres for $210,000 ($7,000 per acre).

The auction was packed with buyers, several bidding on all the land and many buyers bidding on various combinations of tracts and single tracts. "We had lots of interest from investors from at least six different states. The bidding action between the investors and the farmers was very competitive, with farmers ultimately buying most of the land," said sale manager Bill Haworth.

Having sold farmland throughout the United States - including more than 3,000 acres in the past 15 months in the Clinton County, Ind., area alone - Schrader said "the evidence of the uptrend in the market for good crop land today is very clear."

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, based in Columbia City, Ind., is one of the nation's largest auctioneers of agricultural land.

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