Friday, March 16, 2012

Farmland: 'End of land price rally is nigh,' economist warns

There are reasons to think that the value of land south of 40°  latitude might be going up for a thirty-or-so year spell starting around 2020. More on that another time. Here's the Warning

From Agrimoney:
An economist who has since last year been cautioning over farmland values stepped up his warnings despite evidence of an acceleration in price rises, boosted by the revival in agricultural commodity markets.
An index of farmland prices in major US farming states rose to 78.7 this month, from 75.0 in February, showing a 26th successive month of gains. Any number over 50.0 indicates price rises.
The price growth, the strongest performance since December, reflected "record low interest rates and very healthy agriculture commodity prices", said Ernie Goss, economist at Creighton University, which compiles the index.
Corn and soybean futures have hit multi-month highs this week, with wheat prices too at historically-elevated levels.
'Cannot continue'
However, he warned that "in my judgment, farmland prices cannot continue on this growth path".
Professor Goss, who has been warning since last year of a farmland price "bubble", a sentiment also voiced by Robert Shiller, the influential Yale Economist, signalled that a market downturn could begin within weeks....MORE