Rural Land

Rural Land

Market Value of Agricultural Land

  • The increase in dollar value per acre of land and the decrease in tract size over time demonstrate the pressure to develop agricultural lands in urbanized regions into more “market responsive” land uses such as residential subdivisions.
  • Land values across Central Texas increased steadily between 1997 and 2008 before the economic crisis caused values to become more volatile.
  • Real values are adjusted for inflation and are in 1966 dollars.

Market Value of Agricultural Land

Value by Land Type

  • Before decreases in 2008, recent years had seen increases in the value of both land on the urban fringe with no utilities and single family areas with utilities.
  • The land values of cropland and rural areas outside the urban fringe have remained consistent.

Value by Land Type

Rural Population

  • The map below shows the areas outside of city limits that have substantial numbers of inhabitants.
  • Scattered and undirected new development indicates a lack of applied vision for growth in the region and will likely adversely affect trends in investment in schools, water, energy, public safety, and health facilities and services.
  • The most populated census block outside of municipal boundaries has 2,291 inhabitants, found near Lake Travis.

Rural Population


Rural areas of Central Texas continue to absorb huge population growth and face increasing fragmentation and conversion to unplanned urbanization.


Development is encouraged in appropriate areas to ensure affordable infrastructure, preserve open space, and ecosystem health, minimize pollution, and support economical and efficient transportation.


Rural lands, which are predominately privately owned, serve many purposes in Central Texas – for agricultural production, stormwater retention, aquifer recharge, cultural heritage, tourism and animal habitat.

These contributions of rural land may need to be valued as ‘green infrastructure,’ as vital to the health of the regional as transportation and land use investments.


Rural Wastewater Systems

Agricultural Land Value


The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M tracks land value trends in Texas regions. Trend data for various types of land are provided by the Texas Chapter of American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, available online from the Real Estate Center website.

U.S. Census Bureau

Real Estate Center at Texas A&M

Capital Area Council of Governments