Whether you are buying or selling land, you need rapid response from the right people. Our team of Texas land experts operates out of a network of local offices and is ready to help you with your real estate needs across the state. Our experience covers every market from the Texas Hill Country to West Texas, Central Texas and South Texas. We know the land and understand the value better than anyone—and that is knowledge only gained from working on the ground.
As land values continue to appreciate, buyers are Rapid Response for Texas Land Sales looking for more than just a place to live. They want to invest in a business or ranch that can grow with the economy. A growing demand for high-quality, irrigated farmland is driving up prices throughout the state, particularly in rural markets. This year, the median per-acre price for land sales in the state’s smallest market segment increased by about 20 percent, a dramatic increase over the previous decade.
The Texas economy is booming, and more jobs are being created than ever before. The state’s low housing costs have made it an attractive destination for families, small businesses and employees from other parts of the country. However, rising construction costs are straining the budgets of many Texas households and limiting the ability of businesses to hire more workers. The state’s unique land-use policies have helped keep construction costs low, but they are now beginning to lag behind those of other states.
Some commentators blame restrictions on greenfield development for rising house prices, but these prescriptions do not explain the high construction costs in Texas urban areas. While restrictions on greenfield expansion have helped to limit the growth of housing prices in cities like Portland, they do not explain why houses in Austin and Dallas are so expensive.
Instead, the problem lies with zoning laws that restrict the size of new single-family residential (SFR) developments in established neighborhoods. Zoning regulations in both Dallas and Austin require large SFR lot sizes even in many reasonably central neighborhoods. The average SFR minimum lot size in the city of Austin is 6,000 square feet, almost twice as large as in Lubbock, which has the highest population density of any major Texas city.
In addition, zoning laws in Dallas and Austin prohibit any form of medium-density development on land within a few miles of the city center. These limits on redevelopment are not only pushing up construction costs, but they are also constraining the ability of the cities to attract and retain high-skilled workers. Until these limitations are lifted, the future of the Texas economy is uncertain. The Texas Triangle needs reforms to its land-use policies, not just on the urban side of the state, but in suburban areas as well. These reforms would allow the economies of Austin, Houston and Dallas to attract new residents without being constrained by high housing costs or slow transportation systems. The state’s unique land-use policy has served the Texan economy well, but it is time for some adjustments to that policy.