The total value of America’s urban land is astounding, adding up to more than $25 trillion as of 2010—that’s roughly more than double the nation’s total economic output or GDP in 2006, according to a recent study by economists at the University of Illinois and the University of Michigan. Nearly half the total value of America’s urban land, 48 percent of it, is packed into just five superstar metro areas: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with land in and around the urban center being the most valuable by far....MUCH MORE
The study by economists David Albouy and Minchul Shin of the University of Illinois, and Gabriel Ehrlich of the University of Michigan, used data from CoStar, a national real-estate database, covering land transactions from 2005 through 2010. The data contains detailed information on the address, lot size, and price for each transaction, and covers 69,000 land sales that span more than 75,000 square miles.
The study organizes these data points across America’s 300-plus metros, and estimates not just the total value of urban land, but the average land price per acre. It also estimates the average price per acre in the urban center, which is defined as the area within 10 miles of city hall, or the mayor’s office. (In New York City, the Empire State Building is used as the city center instead.)
Across the entire United States, the total value of urban land, averaged across the period from 2005 to 2010, was slightly more than $25 trillion. That breaks out to an average of $511,000 per acre, or $100,000 for the typical residential lot of roughly a fifth-acre (or $2,000 for a typical parking spot). Over the course of the study period, the total value of urban land peaked at more than $28 trillion—2.2 times more than the U.S. GDP in 2006, before the economic crash—but then fell to $18 trillion, or 1.3 times GDP, in 2009.
The table below shows the value of urban land for metros with an average value of more than $1 million per acre.
Metro Total Land Value Average Land Value per Acre Value of Central Land per Acre Ratio of Central to Average Land Value
New York, NY $2.5 trillion $5.2 million $123 million 22.3 Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA $2.3 trillion $2.6 million $16 million 5.5 Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV $1.1 trillion $1.2 million $37 million 32.6 Orange County, CA $820 billion $2.6 million $3.2 million 1.3 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA $658 billion $1.3 million $9.9 million 10.1 San Francisco, CA $622 billion $3.2 million $25 million 9.3 San Diego, CA $551 billion $1 million $10 million 8.7 San Jose, CA $458 billion $2.3 million $3.5 million 1.6 Oakland, CA $447 billion $1.4 million $5.4 million 3.3 Miami, FL $427 billion $1.7 million $4.4 million 3.2 Honolulu, HI $416 billion $3.3 million $16 million 7.0 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL $322 billion $1.3 million $5.9 million 5.3 Fort Lauderdale, FL $318 billion $1.3 million $3.5 million 3.1 Bergen-Passaic, NJ $287 billion $1.4 million $4.1 million 3.7 Stamford-Norwalk, CT $172 billion $1.5 million $2.7 million 3.2 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA $126 billion $1.2 million $2.5 million 2.8 Jersey City, NJ $98 million $3.3 million $9.5 million 8.8 San Luis Obispo-Atascadero-Paso Robles, CA $64 million $1.1 million $1.5 million 1.6 Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $53 million $1.1 million $2.2 million 4.3
The value of urban land tends to follow population, but not entirely. New York has the highest urban land value at $2.5 trillion, followed by Los Angeles at $2.3 trillion. But Washington, D.C., the nation’s sixth largest metro in terms of population, has the third most valuable total urban land, at $1.1 trillion. ...
Thursday, November 2, 2017
"The Staggering Value of Urban Land"