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Business Observer Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 9 months ago

Collier, Pinellas lead region in land prices

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Land prices in the region are relatively stable compared to other parts of the country.

While residential land prices soar nationally, especially on the coasts, the counties on the west coast of Florida, by comparison, are rather affordable.

The discovery comes from landscaping analytics website Lawn Love, which recently published a national survey of residential land prices by county through analyzing Federal Housing Finance Agency and SmartAsset data. The average price nationwide of residential land grew by 6.8% in 2020, the report states, citing data from the National Association of Realtors. And in the housing boom in the region of the past 18 months, land for large-scale residential projects has become a hot commodity.

The report looked at  300 of the largest counties in the country and ranked each on average price per acre, average annual property tax per acre and average annual property tax rate. Price per acre was given a weight of three, while tax per acre was a one and tax rate was 0.5. The higher the ranking, the more expensive the land purchase.

California, New York and New Jersey dominate the top 10 of the most expensive list. San Francisco County was the far-and-away leader, with an overall score of 90.2, the report found. The average price per acre in the city/county with the fitting nickname of the Golden City? A whopping $20.6 million. San Francisco County was the only one to score more than 90 points — about 30 more than the next most expensive locale, Kings County, or Brooklyn, New York. Hudson County, New Jersey is No. 3, while San Francisco’s neighbors, Santa Clara and San Mateo County, were No. 4 and No. 5, respectively.

On the flip side, with the exception of Sussex County in southern Delaware and Yavapai County in central Arizona, the top 10 cheapest counties for residential land in the country are all in the Deep South. Alabama and South Carolina each claim three of those counties, and two are in Louisiana.

The most expensive county in Florida to buy residential land is Miami-Dade, which is No. 77 nationwide, the survey found. On the west coast of the state, Pinellas was the most expensive, followed by Collier and Sarasota counties. Collier, at No. 41, had the highest ranking in the region based on land price.

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