The younger generations have had enough of urban areas. According to CNBC, millennials are increasingly moving out of big cities and into more sparsely populated states, searching for greater outdoor spaces, a better quality of life, and more opportunities to put their stamp on their land. With this exodus has come new pressures on land purchasing, as ambitious professionals seek to create ecologically conscious and sustainable housing that will be their forever home from day one. Trends in land investment are shifting, then, towards a new normal.
The ranch revival
In the USA, the most notable land purchasing trend has arguably concerned ranching. Ranches have been changing hands for astonishing sums and at astonishing rates over the past year; the USA Today featured the sale of NASCAR racer Tony Stewart’s ranch for $30 million being the most notable example of that. The majority of Texas land being sold is for ranches, and the same trend is being seen in Wyoming and the Dakotas. Ranches offer a sustainable future to landowners. They provide the space, resources, and materials to create something ecologically friendly and sustainable, and that’s imprinted in the rancher tradition. After all, while luxury spots are common, the original ranches were about living off the land and judicious use of resources.
The sale of land in this fashion is being driven forward by the need for sustainable housing. Cramped urban spots suffer from a range of issues, whether that be the need for expensive heating in winter or wasteful aircon in summer; they do not promote good airflow, and air quality means that gadgets need to be brought in to provide a healthy living space. Historically, however, such homes have failed to provide for the young professionals inhabiting them due to a lack of amenities and technological sophistication. This is changing with the rise of high-quality broadband across the country.
Organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations have been driving forward the case for equal-access broadband connections. Open Access Fiber is becoming more widespread as a result, and the average quality of internet connectivity across the USA has improved as a result. This has driven up wholesale land prices. Whereas a patch of land may once have been undesirable due to poor quality internet and bad connections to utilities such as water and electricity, advances in how they are managed and developed means that this is no longer the case. While also improving the quality of life for older residents of the state, this is also encouraging younger generations to move out into rural areas, knowing they can work remotely without risking the quality of their work and their recreational time.
These technological changes will also underpin improvements in sustainability and the green credentials of rural areas. Cleantech is the future of green housing, and that requires good quality internet. With young professionals, many of whom are positively minded to tech, this overhaul will only continue.