Is Arkansas Land a Good Investment?

Return to Blog

Get cash offer for your land today!

Ready for your next adventure? Fill in the contact form and get your cash offer.

Thank you! We got your info and will reach out with any questions ASAP.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Is Arkansas Land a Good Investment?

Bart Waldon

Weighing real estate options like Arkansas acreage means analyzing risk-reward dynamics spanning short and long-term growth outlooks. As of early 2023, publicly available agricultural data tallied the average value for Natural State cropland at $3,436 per acre - a notable jump over the past several years indicative of consistent appreciation. Of course deliberate investors consider far more qualitative and quantitative variables over straight extrapolation when evaluating viability and upside of vacant land holdings. 

Factoring parcel specifics like zoning flexibility, surrounding community development, infrastructure availability, environmental constraints, tax rates and target buyer demographics allows sharper projection than statewide generalizations. While no guarantees exist in unfinished land plays, Arkansas does present guarded opportunities for both end-users and spec plays suited to hold through years of patience and savvy enhancements. This overview examines indicators and advice guiding reasoned Arkansas land investment.

Arkansas Real Estate Market Conditions

The real estate market in Arkansas is generally more affordable than many other areas of the country. Both home prices and land values tend to be lower than national medians, while still offering acreage, countryside, and outdoor recreational appeal. As of 2022, the median home listing price in Arkansas was about $179,900 compared to $425,000 nationally. However, values can vary more widely based on exact city and county.

For vacant land, recent sales data shows the typical per acre price ranging from approximately $2,000 to $5,000 depending on terrain, improvements and location. Some recreational or waterfront parcels may sell for higher premiums. Overall, real estate in Arkansas provides investors more purchasing power relative to other states. The market conditions create an opportunity to buy property and land for less capital compared to other regions.

Demand Drivers for Arkansas Land

What is fueling interest in Arkansas land? Several enduring cultural, infrastructural and demographic trends continue to drive demand from buyers, investors, and developers. For one, Arkansas offers an affordable countryside lifestyle that appeals to many seeking scenic natural settings with outdoor recreation access. The Ozark and Ouachita National Forest regions are quite popular. The state also has a business-friendly environment and stable economy, ranked in the Top 10 places for business by CNBC.

Infrastructure upgrades also support growth in Arkansas. With recent highway expansions and technology investments, plus planned developments of an inland port, among other projects, the state aims to attract more residents, visitors and business activity. Already major employers like Walmart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt Transport Services have headquarters in the state. Growing industries such as transportation, logistics, healthcare, finance and manufacturing offer job opportunities as well.

Positive net migration trends show Arkansas gaining residents from other states too, especially from bordering states and others nearby. More people and businesses locating to Arkansas fuels real estate demand. Developers plan new housing subdivisions, retail centers and other commercial projects to meet local market needs too.

Overall, the cultural draw, solid economy and business climate, combined with improving infrastructure poise Arkansas for continued population and development growth; all beneficial factors for land owners and real estate investors.

Assessing the Growth Potential in Arkansas

When evaluating the growth potential for land investments in Arkansas, investors can assess area trends and local market indicators to identify more promising locations. Seeking out communities with economic expansion, influxes of new residents or shortages of buildable sites can pinpoint places primed for real estate appreciation over time.

For example, Northwest Arkansas has recently experienced a boom in tech jobs, construction projects and population gains. Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers feature expanding housing demand with correspondingly low vacancy rates. Infrastructural upgrades also support growth, including the newly finished widening of I-49 linking these cities. With the influx of major employers and relative scarcity of easily developable land in the central metro areas, demand spills over into outskirts and suburbs as well. Land owners in these peripheral cities and along transport corridors may benefit.

Central Arkansas is another growth hotspot, anchored by Little Rock, the state’s capital and largest city. Little Rock acts as financial, technological and cultural hub. Improved connectivity via the 30 Crossing Project with a widened 6.7-mile interstate segment facilitates transport. Plus, Little Rock’s position along the Arkansas River supports growing logistics industries. With the metro’s major health and education institutions, stable government and military entity presence, the region expects further expansion. As such, surrounding locales in proximity to Little Rock offer strong development potential too.

When seeking land investments, exploring locations poised to capture spillover growth from Arkansas’s fastest growing centers can be a smart strategy. Seeking counties with solid in-migration patterns, expanding economic metrics and demand-supply imbalances may yield strong returns on investment over the long run.

Key Factors that Impact Land Values

While current real estate statistics and growth trends provide helpful benchmarks when researching Arkansas land investments, values can change in response to shifting local conditions too. Here is an overview of some of the most influential factors on land valuations over time:

Development Potential 

Land entitled or zoned for uses like residential, commercial or industrial development often demands higher sales prices and values than raw, undeveloped acreage. Proximity to existing infrastructure improves values as well. Sites adjacent to utilities, roads and municipal services hold more worth than remote greenfield land needing such additions to enable building.

Access and Location 

Parcels located along paved roads, highways and interstates tend have higher values than deep interior sites. Corner road frontage, visibility and ease of access boost appeal. Also, land nearer to metro centers and amenities holds premium value based on convenience and transport costs.


Installations like fencing, cleared pasture, ponds or barns can enhance utilitarian use cases for a property, thereby increasing values. Buyers may pay more for move-in ready sites. Similarly, subdivided parcels zoned and entitled for building require less work so sell faster.

Surrounding Influences 

External factors both on and offsite shape land valuations too. For instance, parcels bordering industrial zones often have lower desirability than those next to parks or upscale neighborhoods. Also, new adjacent developments can either complement or impair existing uses on a site.

Local Economy 

Strong economic health and in-migration within a community support appreciation, while periods of decline or population losses negatively impact values. Growing regions see increased demand for sites to develop, which bid up prices. Slow growth areas feature abundant supply and less building, which softens prices.

In essence, land values hinge on variables that determine use cases, development costs and market demand. While no one can predict future valuation changes, examining the foundational influences on a particular market when investing allows buyers to better gauge upside potential.

Buying Land at a Discount in Arkansas

Companies that purchase vacant land directly from owners at discounts below full market value serve an important role in the real estate ecosystem. For land owners lacking requisite time, resources or expertise to sell sites themselves, these cash buyers offer a convenient exit strategy. Sellers bypass costs to subdivide, entitle or otherwise prepare land for retail listing. There are no commissions, closing costs or price reductions needed either.

While discounted from peak values, direct land sales still allow owners fair compensation with cash in hand. For elderly individuals, heirs of inherited property, or those facing financial duress – selling quickly to an investment firm grants important financial flexibility. Land buyers bear the risk of holding costs and future retail sales efforts instead.

In Arkansas, average retail end prices likely sit around 80-90% of true market value based on trends in surrounding states. Wholesale pricing from direct land buyers usually falls closer to 50-60% of that peak amount. However, even deeper discounts occasionally occur for unique scenarios, distressed owners or remote/unusable sites. Overall, "lowball" offers do not automatically indicate deception; heavy discounts are typical of the wholesale model.

Sellers can certainly hold out for potential higher bids too. Yet if the property lingers unsold for months or years accruing taxes and upkeep bills while earning no income, was waiting worthwhile? Time, effort and risk-tolerance determine appropriate pricing strategies. With both retail and wholesale routes viable, sellers simply need align expectations with their chosen approach.

Key Takeaways

Arkansas offers affordable real estate, relatively low costs of living and desirable rural small town communities that retain strong appeal, especially for nearby regions. Solid job markets focused around growing sectors like transportation, finance and manufacturing help attract new residents too. Infrastructure upgrades facilitate expansion into new areas.

While the state features pockets of standout growth around Northwest Arkansas and Central Arkansas’ largest cities, smaller towns also present opportunities. Seeking out locales with sustained in-migration, economic diversity and community improvements can reveal promising investment locations. Angling to buy land in areas poised to capture spillover demand from metro periphery locations works as a proactive strategy as well.

Regardless of strategy, closely evaluating the foundational market factors that shape valuation changes allows buyers to better forecast appreciation potential. Demand dynamics, zoning limitations, access advantages and local business climate all determine value over time. Understanding these key drivers aids investors in pursuing deals likely to yield positive ROIs while still paying wholesale discounted rates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does vacant land typically cost per acre in Arkansas?

Vacant land prices vary greatly in Arkansas, but recent sales data indicates average per acre costs ranging from approximately $2,000 - $5,000. High-demand recreational or waterfront parcels may sell for more. Prices depend heavily on location, improvements, terrain and zoning.

What regions of Arkansas are currently seeing the most real estate growth and development?

Northwest Arkansas and Central Arkansas are current hotspots primed for growth. Specifically, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Springdale and Rogers in the northwest part of the state are booming tech and construction hubs attracting more residents. While Little Rock in central Arkansas serves as the state's largest city and capital with a stable economy.

How difficult is it to sell vacant land parcels at full retail value on the open market?

Statistics show vacant land takes an average of 1-2 years to sell in many cases if listed on the open market. Land owners must have the time, expertise and financial resources to subdivide, entitle or install improvements to maximize values too. As such, direct sales to investment companies provide a faster and more convenient exit strategy for sellers.

What types of land improvements help boost property values the most?

Factors that enhance the utilitarian use cases for a parcel typically increase values the most. Examples include clearing overgrowth for usable space, installing fencing for containment, adding barns or facilities for livestock or equipment storage, grading pads for home sites or building ponds. Proximity to infrastructure also boosts values.

What is a typical price discount from retail value when selling land directly to a company?

While deals vary, investment companies usually pay around 50-60% of peak retail values as average wholesale prices when buying land directly from sellers. Yet for distressed owners or remote properties, discounts could reach even lower percentages in unique cases. Land buyers offset risks and carrying costs of holding inventory.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


Related Posts.

All Posts