Land Price Speculation

 

Land price speculation occurs when purchasers pay more for farm land than would be feasible if it was going to be farmed. The expectation for these purchasers is that they will be able to commercialize their properties - requiring a real or de facto change in zoning - at some future point in order to warrant the purchase price. This makes it impossible for new farmers to purchase the land because it is too expensive, thus driving out the farmers over time. Farmers who wish to lease need leases of at least 10 years in order to make improvements to the land economically feasible, such as better drainage. Land speculators don't want to tie themselves up for 10 years at farm lease rates when the expectation of selling or leasing at much higher commercial rates are forthcoming. Land use speculation pushes out the farmers and destroys the Agricultural Production District (APD). 

The same argument holds for rural lands adjacent to the APD. Speculators who pay commercial land prices for Rural Area essentially must push for commercial rezoning in order to gain a significant return on their investments.

Farmland in the Sammamish Valley APD, when sold for the specific purpose of farming, has typically been priced at $20k-35k per acre. A recent example is Parcel 152605-9101 which sold in May 2018 for $32k per acre. Another is Parcel 152605-9039 which sold in July 2018 for $18.7k per acre.

Over the last few years, several parcels have sold for as much as $850k per acre - strongly suggesting they are intended for uses other than agriculture or an agriculture-based business. Some examples are:  

Parcel Number 152605-9052

14711 148th Ave NE, 98072

Formerly known as: Christine’s Landscaping

Zoning: RA-2.5

Acreage: 1.41

Buildings: Home built in 1955, no renovations, 1561 sq ft

Sold: $1.2M on 5/22/17 with the parcel below = $851k per acre

New Owner: TRF Equities CCL, LLC - a Seattle based property development company

 

Parcel Number 152605-9056

Adjacent to 14711 148th Ave NE, 98072

Formerly known as: Christine’s Landscaping

Zoning: RA-2.5

Acreage: 1.48  

Buildings: None, open land adjacent to home

Sold: A second simultaneous sale of another $1.2M on 5/22/17 with the parcel above = $811k per acre

New Owner: TRF Equities CCL, LLC - a Seattle based property development company

 

Parcel Number 340470-0170

14123 Woodinville Redmond Road, 98052

Formerly: private home/farm

Zoning: A-10

Acreage: 4.82  

Buildings: Home built in 1979, 2400 sq ft 

Sold: $600k on 10/7/13 = $124k per acre

New Owner: Brian Ross, who is currently CEO of Oakpointe LLC, which is part of the Yarrow Bay Development Group. Brian was formerly CEO of Yarrow Bay Holdings.

Current Usage: Being rented

 

Parcel Number 102605-9031

16725 140th Ave NE, 98072

Formerly: private home

Zoning: A-10

Acreage: 7.98  

Buildings: Home built in 1958, 3030 sq ft 

Sold: $1.85M on 6/28/2016 = $232k per acre

New Owner: Icarus Holding LLC (Vladan Milosavljevic). Note he is also a 'code violator' operating a bakery and an antiques store on nearby APD farmland.

 

Parcel Number 232605-9024

13229 Woodinville-Redmond Rd NE, 98052 

Currently: private farm

Zoning: A-10

Acreage: 4  

Buildings: Home built in 1949, 2300 sq ft, 2 barns

For sale: Asking price $6.5M = $1.625M per acre. Note the underlined details from the sale flyer below, brazenly touting the fact that the property resides within the Sammamish Valley APD and strongly suggesting that commercial rezoning is imminent, opening the door to a "multitude of business opportunities."

Farm4Sale2.jpg