Farmland values in Alberta increased at a higher pace in 2020, with an average provincial increase of 6% compared to 3.3% in 2019. Improved growing and harvest conditions for 2020, along with increased grain shipments, made this year much better than the past few. Strong crop receipts improved the overall optimism within Alberta agriculture, Central Alberta saw the highest average farmland value increase in the province at 9.6%. The stronger increase from recent years was due to better-than-average growing conditions, a healthy supply management sector and robust grain shipments. Southern region saw the lowest average farmland value increase in 2020 at 2.9%. However, irrigated land in this region, with its concentration of potato processing facilities, had an average 7.6% value increase.
Average farmland values in Alberta increased at a much slower pace in 2019 at 3.3%, compared to an increase of 7.4% in 2018. The larger increases were in the south and central regions, while values showed incrementally smaller increases moving northward. Alberta agriculture faced several challenges in 2019 with weaker economic conditions, volatile commodity prices and adverse weather contributing to a smaller average increase in farmland values. Many areas of the province were impacted by a September snowfall, so harvest was delayed or never completed in some areas and the overall quality was down. Potatoes in the southern region were the bright light in 2019 with an increased demand from the processing sector, which contributed to a 3.9% increase in the average farmland value for the region. With an additional potato processing company in the Lethbridge area, producers were given an incentive to increase their irrigated potato production. Dry conditions, however, negatively impacted values for unirrigated land. Northern and Central regions of the province reported stable to moderate increases in farmland values, 1.5% to 5.3%, respectively. Moisture conditions in the western part of the northern region were above average, reducing yield and quality. Many areas of the Peace region experienced periods of forest fires and related smoke. Frost and dry conditions were followed by an early snowfall, which made for a challenging season that resulted in a modest 1.1% increase in average farmland values. Despite this, there were a few pockets in the Peace region that experienced a successful season and land sales continued to be strong, but the increases are still lower than the previous year.
The average value of Alberta farmland increased 7.3% in 2017, following average gains of 9.5% in 2016 and 11.6% in 2015. Values were driven by both demand and weather. While the province experienced steady demand in all regions, there were pocked of very strong demand from competing farm operations as well areas of decreased demand due to overly dry conditions. Southern Alberta was impacted in 2017 by a lack of rainfall on dryland, however this was offset by the pockets of increased demand. The Southern Alberta region’s irrigated land saw a stead to increase demand combined with limited supply leading to higher overall increase of 11.4%.
The average value of Alberta farmland increased 9.5 per cent in 2016, following gains of
11.6 per cent in 2015 and 8.8 per cent in 2014. Values in the province have continued to
climb since 1993.Despite an economy hurt by depressed oil and gas prices, Alberta reported the second highest average farmland values increase in Canada, eclipsed only by Prince Edward Island. The province’s 9.5 per cent average increase was largely buoyed by grain sector expansion in the north, as well as activity from non-traditional buyers in the south. While competition for available farmland also increased prices in other regions, farmland on the outskirts of urban centres saw reduced prices due to the general economic downturn. Some adverse weather, as well as depressed oil and gas prices, placed downward pressure on farmland values, while large farm expansion and competition
between beef and grains sectors in some areas helped boost the value of marginal cultivated forage or pasture acres.
Total sales for the first have of 2017 have increase with 202 sales in comparison to 181 for the first half of 2016. This total sale amount is for Brooks, County of Newell, Drumheller, Hanna and the surrounding districts. The average sale price for the 39 home sales in Drumheller decreased to $184,757 from $200,018 for the first half of 2016 with 44 sales. Many older lower price homes have sold during the 2017 period. There are currently 111 houses for sale on the MLS for Drumheller.