What size ranches are the “sweet spot” for ranch sales?
Todd: $500,000 to $1,500,000 and then it jumps to larger 15 to 100 million-dollar ranches.
Iten: The bigger the better. In western Montana that is measured in hundreds of acres and in eastern Montana it’s measured in thousands.
Janssen: In some cases, bigger is not better, especially for a recreational property. There might be more and better fishing on the “right” 300 acres than on another area ranch that is 3,000 acres.
What are the major trend-lines for ranch sales over the next 10 years?
Frank & Michelle: Ten years is a far distance to speculate or predict in our present economy. Today, sales are definitely influenced by higher ag commodity prices coupled with low interest rates.
Todd: I believe the worldwide demand for red meat is going to keep ag land prices appreciating. Good irrigated land is also going to be in strong demand. Demand for recreational properties will continue to increase in the next three to five years. Real estate is going to continue to prove to be a very good long-term investment in a well-balanced portfolio.
Raich: I expect that large productive ranches that support a long-term sustainable/profitable operation not only will see an increase in demand, but also will trade at strong prices. In the recreational ranch sector, any property with live water resources, privacy, a protected view shed, and flourishing wildlife habitat will continue be in strong demand.
Iten: As the economy improves, people will be again looking for a place to “mellow out” so the “comfort” ranches with recreational amenities should be strong again. My out-of-state clients say they want a ranch not just for themselves, but for their kids and grandkids to experience a place and a lifestyle so very different from home in bigger cities outside Montana.