The Price of Residential Land for Counties, ZIP codes, and Census Tracts in the United States

Research Seminars

The authors of the paper presented in this Virtual Real Estate Seminar use data on appraised land value from a data set of more than 14 million appraisals to produce annual estimates of the average price of land used in single-family housing and the average share of house value attributable to land. They generate results for a balanced panel of more than 1,000 counties, 9,000 ZIP codes,and 19,000 census tracts in the United States between 2012 and 2018, covering 87% of the population and 85% of all single-family homes; they also produce cross-section results using pooled data for 2012-2018 that have even broader geographic coverage. The cross-section results confirm predictions about land prices from canonical models of urban economics and provide a number of other stylized facts. The panel results show that land prices rose faster than house prices over 2012-2018 in large metro areas, boosting the land share of house value, while the land share fell in smallermetros. For the U.S. as a whole, the land share increased notably over 2012-2018, reflecting the outsized influence of the largest metro areas. The land prices and landshares they generate are intended to aid researchers in urban and regional economics and policy-makers monitoring the health of the nation’s single-family housing market and are available for free download.




William D. Larson Ph.D.

William D. Larson // Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Washington, D.C., USA

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Junior Research Associate
Carolin Schmidt
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