Housing Market Bust and Farmland Values: Identifying the Changing Influence of Proximity to Urban Centers

Wendong Zhang and Cynthia J. Nickerson

Abstract

This article estimates the impact of the 2007–2008 residential housing market bust on farmland values, using parcel-level farmland sales data from 2001–2010 for a 50-county region under urbanization pressure in western Ohio. Hedonic model estimates reveal that farmland was not immune to the residential housing bust; the portion of farmland value attributable to proximity to urban areas was almost cut in half shortly after the bust in 2009–2010. Nonetheless, total farmland prices remained relatively stable in the 2000s, likely due to increased demand for agricultural commodities. Our results are robust to different assumptions about the structure of the unobserved spatial correlation. (JEL Q15, R14)

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