Hedonic Valuation of Farmland Using Sale Prices versus Appraised Values

Shan Ma and Scott M. Swinton


Farmland provides agricultural products and natural amenities, as well as residential sites. The emergence of exurbanization appears to be changing the demand for natural amenities and their role in determining land values. To better understand how appraised value and sale price capture the determinants of farmland value in a region facing exurbanization, this study applies the hedonic method to land transaction data in southwestern Michigan during 2003–2007. Results suggest that appraised values are a poor substitute for sale prices if the research goal is to understand dynamically evolving determinants of land value in exurbanizing regions, especially the value of natural amenities. (JEL Q24, Q51)