Rising interest rates have been top of mind of late, so it’s worth addressing their impact on the land business.
A little background:
We do not borrow from banks for these land deals, so they are not in a position to increase rates on loans we do not have and do not plan to take out.
Instead, we borrow from the fund (that’s you) at a fixed 10%. That rate is already well above going mortgage rates of 5-6%, but it is acceptable to us because the terms are favorable and allow this business model to work.
Pros and cons of higher rates:
Pro: We sell ranchettes on owner financing, typically at rates exceeding 10%. Rising rates (chart) amongst other lenders have had the positive effect of making our rates much more palatable to prospective ranchette buyers, thus helping with sales.
Con: Higher rates are causing consumers to pay more for other purchases that they finance. This could squeeze the disposable income of some of our prospective buyers and therefore hurt sales a bit.
Con: It’s probable that rising rates are beginning to soften the real estate market, which includes rural land. We welcome this shift. A hot market attracted a lot of “buy and hold” land investors with deep pockets who have been competing with us as we attempt to buy. In a softer (or simply normalized) market, we can buy with greater ease and sell with what historically has also been relative ease.
The bottom line
Rising rates may be a net positive for our business, and we don’t see it impacting our investors.