Understanding the question “How much is an acre of land worth?” is essential if you want to start investing in land. Do you often drive by empty plots of land and wonder if investing in agricultural land or farm real estate is for you?
What is an Acre?
An acre is a unit used to measure a land area. An acre is 4,840 square yards, 43,560 square feet, or just above 4,047 meters squared in other unit measurements.
The word acre comes from an Old English word, aecer. In the Early Middle Ages, this word referred to the usual area farmers could plow in one day.
Fun Fact: In farming, an acre is 660 feet long and 66 feet wide. Additionally, one furlong is 660 feet, and one chain is 66 feet wide. Thus, an acre is also one furlong and one chain.
Generally, an acre is a measurement used in the United States, though it can be referenced occasionally in a few British Commonwealth countries.
How Big is an Acre of Land Visually?
Below is a chart converting one acre to different units of measurements of one acre of land:
- 1 acre = 43,560 square feet
- 1 acre = 4840 square yards
- 1 acre = 4046.86 square meters
- 1 acre = 0.404686 hectares
- 1 acre 1/640th of a square mile
However, visually speaking, an acre doesn’t necessarily have a set length or width. So, you can have an acre that comes in all shapes and sizes.
The final measurement of that area needs to fall within the parameters of an acre. So what you’re looking at could be a square, a rectangle, or a shape that has many different lengths of sides.
If you compare an acre to other areas, this can help you to visualize what it would look like.
American Football Field
An American football field is just a little bit larger than one acre of land. A football field measures approximately 1.3 acres, so picture a football field plus another portion of the field to the 20-yard line.
If you’re looking to compare an acre to a tennis court, you could fit 16 tennis courts inside one acre of land. Of course, a tennis court is a much smaller playing area than a football field, but this might be a more understandable comparison for people.
In comparison to a baseball field, an acre is smaller than a baseball field. This fact might be surprising to you, but a baseball field is enormous. So if you fit an acre inside of the baseball field, you’d still have a bit of the outfield remaining.
How Many Acres in a Mile?
If you’re considering one square mile, there would be 640 acres in that space. So one mile is equivalent to 5280 feet, which you can use to calculate an acre.
Commercial Acre vs. Residential Acre
Commercial acreage refers to a parcel of land that someone uses for business. This business can be a store, office building, warehouse, or factory.
A person would use a residential acre for a home or some dwelling. United States real estate companies invented the commercial area as a legal unit to refer to large cities.
The acreage amount from a commercial standpoint will exclude any nearby alleys, roads, sidewalks, etc.
Thus a residential acre would be the standard acreage measurement, while the commercial reading would be about 82.6 percent of that number. That means one commercial acre is 36,000 square feet, 4000 square yards, or 3342.8 square meters.
Why is the Size of an Acre Important?
Understanding the size of an acre is quite essential if you’re talking about real estate from either a residential or commercial perspective. For example, farmers use acreage to understand the size and land value of their lot.
They also need to know this number to ensure their livestock with enough space to thrive. For instance, one horse requires about two acres of land.
As a homeowner, knowing how much acreage your home is on can provide you with a better understanding of what you’re investing in when you buy a property.
How Much is an Acre of Land?
Acreage can vary depending on what location you’re referencing, but the average cost of a piece of farmland is worth anywhere near $3,160 for one acre. This number will quickly increase as you look at more populated areas that are more developed, especially cities.
What Variables Affect the Price of an Acre of Land?
Several variables will affect the overall cost of an acre of land. Real estate professionals understand that things like location, economy, and infrastructure can also raise or lower the price of one acre of land.
You may have heard it before, but it’s true: “Location, location, location.”
When it comes to location, the land costs can vary pretty dramatically. The proposed use of the land will affect this determination.
If you’re looking for farmland, location is crucial.
It would help if you had your acreage on flat land comprised of fertile soil. However, you don’t want to be located in the middle of a bustling city, so a more rural location is preferred.
To develop your acre of land into a business, home, or farm, you need specific infrastructure in place. This infrastructure includes power lines, roadways, water sources, interstate, utilities, etc. While a farm can succeed in a more rural location, it helps to have some developments in place.
Land prices will generally increase when you have more economic activity present. That’s why you’ll see a property in major metropolitan cities costing more than land out in the country. Even more rural locations will benefit from being close to a major city.
If it’s challenging to construct something on a piece of land, the price of the land will decrease. People want a usable property that doesn’t include a lot of wasted space.
Supply and Demand
When there is a high demand for property by land that isn’t readily accessible, this causes land values to go up, which is considered a seller’s market. But, conversely, when there are more and more properties, you’ll see the cost of an acre of land decrease.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t care about the view from a potential piece of property that they’re considering buying. If there’s an existing structure on the property, people want to see what is visible from various windows.
On the other hand, an open piece of land overlooking mountains, hills, or lakes in the distance rather than telephone lines and radio towers increases the price of the land.
Is the Value of an Acre of Land Retained?
An acre of land has the potential to retain its value, but the value of it can decrease based on what’s going on around it.
For example, a rural piece of property with a gorgeous view may be extremely valuable one year. However, if the next year includes a factory or commercial building going nearby or windmills have developers construct it on the horizon, this can cause a significant decrease in value.
How Much is an Acre in the States with the Lowest Price Point?
According to LandHub, states like Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, and New Mexico have the lowest acreage costs. The low price points are because they are far out in the west, where land and mountain communities tend to be more underdeveloped.
You can grab an acre of land for approximately $2000 or less. Also relatively affordable are a couple of Midwest states, such as Idaho, Nebraska, and North Dakota, where the total value of the land is about $3000 an acre.
How Much is an Acre in the States with the Highest Price Point?
According to Alux.com, the most expensive states to purchase land include Maine, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. These areas have gorgeous scenery, they are developed, and they have an excellent economy. So you could be looking at $20,000 per acre, depending on what part of the state you’re looking in.
Have you come across undeveloped, vacant land and considered turning rural areas into an investment? Most likely, you’ve seen construction companies develop various commercial properties, such as condos, shopping centers, or parking garages.
Thus, if you plan on developing these kinds of investment properties, involving real estate agents’ assistance to buy land is a given, considering the complexities of these deals. However, if you’re buying land to build a home, a real estate agent can still help with this real estate transaction.
Lastly, various factors can impact the real estate value of the land: location, economic activity, topography, supply/demand, and the view. Therefore, be sure to keep these factors in mind when analyzing your potential investment.