The Press Room
It’s Not Just About the Quacks
Question: Therefore, if you have farmland with wetland on it for duck hunting, that property will be worth more than two times the value of the land, right?
Stephens: That’s right, especially if it has a true green-timber reservoir on it. I consider a true green-timber reservoir if the green timber has a levee around it that can be flooded in the fall and the winter, and then the water can be dropped off that land in the spring and the summer so the oak trees and the other trees on that land aren’t killed by having water on them all the time. That’s the amenity that brings the premium price for a duck-hunting spot. If you don’t have that green-timber reservoir where the water can be manipulated to enhance the property for waterfowl, then you’ve got pure farmland. That type of land sells for between $2,000 and $3,000 an acre in our section of Arkansas.
Question: Are you finding much farmland in your region to sell?
Stephens: Once again, we’re finding very little. If you find good farmland here to sell, the buyer better be prepared to write a check when we find it because this farmland doesn’t stay on the market long. Many duck hunters hunt the farmland just like they do the green timber, because there are so many ducks in our area. Where they find agriculture to feed on is usually where the ducks show up. Another factor driving the price of farmland is that the commodity prices are extremely high. Rice is selling for $2 to $3 more per bushel than it was 3-years ago. Soybeans, corn and wheat are all at record prices. So, the farming market is really strong right now, and farmers are doing better than they have in years past. Many investors wanting to buy pure farmland will rent that land out to a farmer and then have a place to duck hunt or create a place to duck hunt.
Question: What type of people buy property in Stuttgart today?
Stephens: Mostly pure investors, but farmers are also buying farmlands to increase their holdings, grow more crops and make more money.
Question: The word Stuttgart is as synonymous with duck hunting as the Statue of Liberty is with New York, right?
Stephens: That’s true. So, when you say Mossy Oak Properties of Stuttgart, a person immediately knows who we are, what we do, who we’re associated with, what kind of real estate we have, and why we can help them find the property they want.
Question: What’s the average-size tract you sell in your region right now?
Stephens: Our bread and butter sales are the 300- to 500-acre tracts. We sell some larger tracts, but the main size tract we’re selling is 300 to 500 acres.
Question: What effect has the housing market slowdown had on the sales of land in your area?
Stephens: Not any. The housing market has had absolutely no effect on farmland or forest-recreation land in our part of Arkansas.
Question: From where are most of your investors coming?
Stephens: They’re coming from all over the country. We get a good number of investors from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee, and we also get some from the Midwest. We’re also beginning to see investors from Texas and Louisiana. The people in the oil and the gas business are reinvesting the money they’ve made off oil and gas into duck-hunting land and farming land here in Stuttgart.
To contact Jeramy Stephens, call his office at (800) 689-1537, on his cell phone at (870) 672-3250, or e-mail him at email@example.com. Stephens’ agency also has a licensed auctioneer on staff.
Tomorrow: Mountain Land