SOURCE: Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company

Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company

February 01, 2011 14:46 ET

Record Farmland Prices Prompt Some Owners to Consider Selling

COLUMBIA CITY, IN--(Marketwire - February 1, 2011) - Strong commodity prices and a long period of stock-and-bond market volatility have created an opportunity for landowners to realize long term gains on their land. But despite the strong demand, many landowners until now have been hesitant to offer their land for sale, according to R.D. Schrader, president of Schrader Real Estate & Auction Company, which sold more than $150 million worth of land in 2010.

But more landowners are giving the idea some serious thought.

"Landowners, by nature, are patient and oriented to the long term, but a lot of them for the first time are seriously considering options for selling their land. Many siblings now own land that they have inherited in the last 10 to 20 years and consider this an opportune time to be selling as the market has reached new highs," said Schrader.

"With current prices on quality farmland up more than 20% over 2009 in some areas and investors eager to diversify into agricultural land, we're starting to see a greater interest also by farmers in selling land and leasing it back," said Schrader. "Many investors and hedge funds are seeking precisely this type of investment, and this enables the farmers to secure their gains and still continue their farming operations. We literally hear from investment professionals in New York and other financial centers every week as they look for quality agricultural land in which to invest. I've never seen anything like it," he added.

But the demand for farmland isn't limited to Wall Street investors, according to Schrader.

"Week after week at our auctions, we're seeing intense competition between local farmers and investors, which is the ideal situation for the seller. As a result, we're getting incredibly strong prices on the land we offered during the fall of 2010 and January 2011," said Schrader.

"Farmland has always been a solid investment. There is a solid economic foundation under today's strong values, so we think farmland will continue to be an excellent investment. But the reality is that nobody can say with certainty what the future holds, and for any landowner who has contemplated selling at some point, it's probably time to evaluate their options," he said. "I have heard it said that the best time to sell is when there are very few sellers and lots of buyers and that is certainly true today."

Schrader Real Estate and Auction Company, based in Columbia City, Ind., is a leading auctioneer of farmland throughout the United States. Individuals seeking additional information about the firm and its auctions may visit or call 800-451-2709.

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