What's Driving the Fastest Growing Land Values in the Upper Midwest?

Fargo-Moorhead, the metropolitan statistical area straddling North Dakota and Minnesota, has seen the quickest growth in land value in the Upper Midwest for the span of years between 2012 and 2017.

1 minute read

July 11, 2019, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


North Dakota

David Harmantas / Shutterstock

"Land values in Fargo-Moorhead rose 74 percent from 2012 to 2017, from $138,000 per acre to $241,000 per acre, outpacing rates of increase in the Twin Cities (42 percent) and other Midwestern cities — as well as Santa Barbara, California (67 percent), Austin, Texas (68 percent) and Denver, Colorado (62 percent)," reports Greta Kaul.

Kaul is sharing data found in the new "The State of the Nation's Housing" report published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The Fargo-Moorhead area is exceedingly conspicuous on this interactive map of residential land value increases created for the report.

When tracing the causes of the boom in residential land value, Kaul credits more jobs, thanks to the region's universities, the tech industry ("Unbeknownst to many outsiders, Fargo is also home to one of Microsoft’s biggest corporate campuses outside suburban Seattle"), and agriculture. Those jobs have attracted more people, and residential land values have responded.

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