Billionaires racing to park their money in ranch land

Billionaires racing to park their money in ranch land

[Ed. – Don’t these guys know about the EPA and the environmental lobby?  Or do they just have that “taken care of”?]

Demand is particularly strong right now for mega ranches—those with over 25,000 deeded acres and often more than 100,000 total acres listed in the $10 million to $175 million range. Deeded acres are more desirable because they’re owned outright; ranches may also include acreage leased from the state or federal government, which allows them to graze their cattle in exchange for a fee. These properties typically have cattle operations, as well as recreational assets such as hunting, fishing or hiking. Some listings include mineral rights in the sale, which offers potential revenue from oil, gas, uranium, coal or other resources. …

Buyers of these mega ranches are looking for income, such as a profitable livestock operation or fees from allowing wildlife-hunting, says Jeff Buerger, a Denver-based partner with Hall & Hall. More important, they are looking for a safe, long-term investment. The value of U.S. pasture land normally grazed by livestock rose 11% in the fiscal year 2014, which ended in September, from a year earlier, after averaging about 5% yearly increases for the two years before that, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. …

A major ranch purchase also comes with bragging rights. Many of the bigger properties are known as “legacy” ranches in part because buyers want to stake their claim in history. These ranches stand out for their size, unusual location or a unique feature, says Eric O’Keefe, editor of the Land Report, which publishes an annual ranking of the largest 100 private landowners in the country. To make that list requires owning 100,000 deeded acres or more. …

Much of the action is in New Mexico. Unlike Texas and Colorado, the state still has quite a few very large properties that haven’t been broken apart.

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