The Magazine of the American Landowner presents our 2020 survey of the leading real estate brokerages in the PACIFIC that specialize in land. – Edited by Cary Estes
CALIFORNIA OUTDOOR PROPERTIES
CALIFORNIAOUTDOORPROPERTIES.COM | (707) 455-4444
2019 Sales: $100M–$250M
Who: One of the largest private land real estate companies in California, we specialize in buying and selling premium farm, ranch, and recreational properties.
WOW: Brought the iconic N3 Cattle Company to market for the first time in 85 years. The historic cattle ranch is currently priced at $68 million. This beautiful and expansive California property spans 50,500 deeded acres and ranks as the largest land listing in California.
What was your take on the 2019 market? The first half of the year was slow and concerning, but the final six months went by like gangbusters. By the time the year ended, it was one of our all-time best.
What are your predictions for 2020? It started out outstanding with our best first quarter in company history. But with the onset of the coronavirus, it is anyone’s guess. Maybe people will want to get away from the cities and buy rural or ranch property. But the dip in the stock market is on the other side of that.
THE CHICKERING COMPANY
RANCHBUYER.COM | (530) 265-5774
2019 Sales: $50M–$100M
Who: We have spent more than 35 years brokering California ranches, mountain hideaways, coastal retreats, and fishing and hunting lodges. Our clients count on our breadth of knowledge and considerable experience to guide them to exceptional properties and represent their interests in transactions.
WOW: Sold two of the most spectacular fly-fishing ranches to hit the California recreational market in years: Spring Creek Ranch and Pleasant Valley Ranch.
What was your take on the 2019 market? Ranches of quality – with water, fishing and/or cattle production – received plenty of interest from buyers. Conversely, ranches of marginal quality took a bit longer to move.
What are your predictions for 2020? This year looks promising with a number of new ranch offerings already coming to the market.
CLARKCOMPANY.COM | (805) 238-7110
2019 Sales: < $50M
Who: The Clark family has been in the ranching business since the 1890s. Clark Company began as a stage and cattle company in Ventura County, California, and has been representing buyers and sellers in ranch real estate transactions since 1958. Today, Pete Clark leads the company as a fifth-generation rancher who is well acquainted with most types of ranches and farm properties in the Western US. He represents large and small ranches, both corporate and family-owned, on behalf of foreign and domestic buyers and sellers.
WOW: Sold Copelan Ranch and SLO San Juan Ranch – two contiguous, separately owned properties comprising a combined 2,000-plus acres –nearly simultaneously to two different buyers after a short listing period.
What was your take on the 2019 market? It was largely below average in California and Nevada. We consummated fewer sales than in recent memory. Few large acreages sold in the West overall. However, we experienced a surge in owners listing their properties, which has provided a vast inventory of ranches and acreage that range in use from cattle ranches and equestrian properties to irrigated land and recreational retreats.
What are your predictions for 2020? Though the first quarter got off to a grim start, we hope that once we get through the medical and economic crises that we will see an influx of buyers and an increase in activity from people who recognize the long-term benefit of owning rural properties.
KERRY MORMANN & ASSOCIATES
COASTALRANCH.COM | (805) 682-3242
2019 Sales: $100M–$250M
Who: Specializing in ranch, land, and estates with acreage throughout Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo, California.
WOW: Won the Inman award for best beach sale nationally for the $70 million sale of the 1,800-acre Las Varas Ranch, which has two miles of oceanfront. Our best listing was the 15,000-acre La Panza Ranch for $43 million.
What was your take on the 2019 market? It was very strong.
What are your predictions for 2020? We’re seeing some slowing in the high-end market, but predictions are for a 3 to 5 percent increase in values.
KNIPE LAND COMPANY
KNIPELAND.COM | (208) 345-3163
2019 Sales: $100M–$250M
Who: Founded in 1944, we handle cattle ranches, legacy ranches, farms, dairies, feedlots, orchards, large timber tracts, development land, and truly exclusive real estate investments and acquisitions for clients in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. We also publish our own magazine, The Range Writer, which has a readership of more than 300,000 and is used to market our listings.
What was your take on the 2019 market? We saw many larger well-appointed and well-managed farms and ranches come on the market, with a surge of interest as well as closed sales. There was an overall increase in the quality of the farms and ranches on the market with strong demand and shorter-than-normal market time for larger properties.
What are your predictions for 2020? Demand is expected to remain strong for quality real estate – farms, ranches, timber parcels – as Idaho and the West continue to see massive migration from other areas. Nearly all the transactions are cash buyers or 1031 cash buyers. Sales to foreign investors are also increasing, as America remains a safe haven in the overall turbulent economy.
SMITH-KANDAL REAL ESTATE
SMITHKANDAL.COM | (760) 344-2212
2019 Sales: < $50M
Who: We specialize in irrigated farmland in the desert country of California and Arizona. We also have expertise in solar leases and manage approximately 40,000 acres of farm leases.
WOW: Handled both sides of a 500-acre irrigated farm.
What was your take on the 2019 market? Prices were slightly weaker than in the past several years. Overall, the market was mainly local buyers adding to their holdings.
What are your predictions for 2020? We anticipate stronger sales and slightly higher land prices due to increasing commodity prices, which would be a direct result of the trade conflicts with China ending.
WHITNEY LAND COMPANY
WHITNEYLANDCOMPANY.COM | (541) 278-4444
Who: A 45-year-old company specializing in agricultural farm and timberlands, including recreational properties related to fishing and hunting.
WOW: We were very active in the dryland wheat farm category. Most sales were in the 1,000- and 2,000-acre range.
What was your take on the 2019 market? We enjoyed good sales in both dryland wheat and larger timbered recreational land tracts.
What are your predictions for 2020? We anticipate continued strong real estate sales, though there was a pause with the coronavirus. We believe this situation will clear itself by summer.