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Texas land markets exploded in the first quarter of 2021, posting a preliminary total of 8,147 transactions, a 33.17 percent surge over 2020 levels. (All figures reflect annualized quantities in four-quarter moving averages.) Urban dwellers fleeing cities and investment-driven buyers led the charge into the countryside, snapping up nearly everything offered for sale. This frenzied demand drove prices 9.43 percent higher than 2020 first quarter prices. The remarkable rush of activity engulfed nearly all markets for both small and large properties. In Far West Texas, the Trans-Pecos region bucked the trend where large property sales continued to languish in the doldrums inspired by collapsed oil prices. 
Statewide prices settled at $3,249 per acre, an all-time high for rural properties. Many smaller properties sold, causing the typical tract size to fall 21.63 percent to 1,051 acres. A total of 585,372 acres changed hands, a 20.76 percent increase over 2020. The flood of transactions pushing up prices produced a record total dollar volume in the market of $1.90 billion, up 32.15 percent from last year. 
Panhandle and South Plains: Activity moved modestly up in this region with sales increasing 13.87 percent. Prices actually fell 4.51 percent to $1,122 per acre continuing a trend toward lower overall prices. However, the decline decelerated from 2020 results and the total acreage increased 56.42 percent. That increase in acreage cause a 49.37 percent rise in the total dollar volume. 
Far West Texas: Activity in the Permian Basin oil play had driven this market for the past several years. When oil prices collapsed in 2020, so did demand for large properties in this region. The number of sales dropped 22.61 percent with acreage falling 65.69 percent. The market focus switched from desert rangelands for energy exploration to desirable mountain properties. So, the region posted few sales at very high prices. The lack of activity makes it difficult to find reliable pricing information.  
West Texas: This region experienced robust activity with a 47.46 percent increase in the number of sales and a 2.24 percent increase in price to $1,691 per acre. Total acreage sold exploded up 79.50 percent to 135,556 acres, contributing to the 83.52 percent increase in total dollar volume to $229.2 million. The market was very active with increasing demand pressure. 
Northeast Texas: Volume of sales expanded 27.18 percent while prices escalated 12.63 percent to $5,448 per acre. Total acreage increased 22.15 percent to 82,329 acres. These results drove total dollar volume up 37.58 percent to $448.5 million. These developments reflect strong demand emanating from the cities and engulfing the entire region. 
Gulf Coast – Brazos Bottom: The volume of sales jumped 44.75 percent from 2020, but the total acres sold only increased 5.88 percent, suggesting a large number of smaller tracts in the current market. Price increased a solid 10.62 percent to $7,031 per acre. The high price but low acreage led to a modest 17.12 percent increase in total dollar volume at $275.1 million. 
South Texas: Activity increased substantially in the region to the south of San Antonio with sales volume increasing 27.71 percent and prices remaining steady at $3,952 per acre, virtually unchanged from 2020. Total acres grew 31.29 percent driving total dollar volume up 30.89 percent to $240.9 million. 
Austin – Waco – Hill Country: Markets in this region posted a solid 7.02 percent increase in price to $4,422 per acre accompanied by a 36.44 percent increase in sales volume. The 23.15 percent increase in total acres sold contributed to the 31.80 percent increase in total dollar volume to $548.8 million.
The desire to escape problems in the urban environment as well as a search for a safe haven for capital has sparked a stampede to the countryside. Undoubtedly, the pandemic and urban unrest prompted this invasion. Many observers fear that market activity at these levels will not last. However, nothing on the horizon points to a diminution in demand for safe space in the countryside. The coming months will likely see a continuing scramble for land with increasing upward pressure on prices. That trend seems likely even if the pandemic does not fade as currently expected. Legions of workers have discovered that they can do their jobs from remote locations, prompting them to seek out places that they prefer to live. At some point, the demand inspired by current societal developments may wane, but no current developments seem poised to cause buyers to retreat.
Recreational Buyers, Investors Drive Rush to Rural Land
An influx of investors and want-to-be ranchers swooped into rural areas last year to buy land to look at the big Texas sky.
More than half a million acres of rural land traded hands in Texas in 2020, hitting a record $1.69 billion worth of deals, according to data from the Texas A&M University Real Estate Research Center.
Nearly every part of the state saw a spike in deal volume with the number of sales hitting 7,684 deals, a 28% jump from last year. Only the far west Texas area near the energy rig-heavy Permian Basin saw a drop in deals.
The data doesn’t track the motivation of buyers, but brokers said they are seeing an increase in investors looking for a safe place to park cash during an uncertain year, noted Charles Gilliland, a research economist at Texas A&M University Real Estate Research Center, in an interview.
Brokers also are reporting a stampede of urban dwellers searching for a country getaway, a ranch or recreational hunting lands during the pandemic, Gilliland said.
“I was just talking to a broker last week who said a number of his buyers are asking, ‘How long does it take to get to an H-E-B [grocery store] from here?’ So they’re not [all] the ranch-type buyers that these guys have been dealing with for years, they’re different types of folks,” Gilliland said.
The trend toward rural land parallels is similar to migration patterns during the pandemic from urban areas to the suburbs seen in the single-family homebuying and multifamily rental markets.
Across the nation, brokers and agents said there was an increase in interest and prices for rural land last year, according to National Land Realty’s 2021 survey, and that is expected to continue this year.
Last year “was a strong year for land and 2021 is looking to start out the same way,” said Jason Burbage, president of National Land Realty, in a statement. Almost 90% of surveyed brokers are optimistic that land will do quite well over the next year to 18 months and more than 75% believe their business will grow at least 5%, according to the survey.
Many rural land buyers during the pandemic are snatching up property specifically for recreational hunting, continuing an ongoing trend of recreational land buying seen in recent years, he said. In Texas, hunting primarily occurs on rural land and purchasing ranches allows hunters to carefully manage wildlife, deer and exotic game on site, Gilliland said.
It’s not clear how many or if any of the Texas deals were specifically driven by a desire to build homes on the property, since the Texas A&M research center doesn’t track so-called transitional land that developers turn into residential or commercial development sites, Gilliland said.
However, there has been a considerable spike in smaller land deals as more buyers enter the fray. The average deal size shrunk 13% to 1,139 acres, Texas A&M’s research center’s data shows.
The Texas Hill Country in Central Texas continues to be one of the more sought-after regions for rural land buyers, both because of its natural beauty and because of its relative proximity to Austin and San Antonio, he said. Even buyers from the Houston and Dallas areas also dip into the Hill Country, which is closer than the other scenic areas of the states, Gilliland noted.
“The Central Texas area in one quarter this past year had more than 1,000 sales. It never has even come close to that in the past,” Gilliland said.
Overall in 2020, the Austin-Waco-Hill Country region saw 2,364 deals, a nearly 39% jump from the prior year, the research center data found. There were 113,784 acres sold in the Central Texas region, up about 25%.
The data doesn’t track all the transitional land associated with industrial and single-family home developers descending on the Austin area near the future Tesla land site and elsewhere in East and North Austin. But brokers are reporting rising prices for industrial, residential and commercial development land in Austin as well.
Despite the jump in the number of sales in the Austin area, prices barely budged, indicating that buyers were snatching up whatever they could, even lower-quality land that may have had a more difficult time selling in the past, Gilliland noted.
“As this kind of frenzy continues it would not be surprising to see some sizable price increases as well. As a matter of fact, I’m hearing from brokers on some of the smaller acreages that are having bidding wars like single-family homes,” he said.
Our Hill Country Land Listings
Coming Soon!
Lazy “Y” Ranch
789 County Road 3480 Lampasas, TX 76550
4,110 sq ft Custom Home and Pool
224.02 Acres
Price - $2,600,000
Land: ~224 total acres with over 3000 feet of both sides of spring fed Lucy Creek. Huge Oak trees, Cedar Elms and Pecan trees cover much of the ranch. ~1000’ of frontage on County Road 3480. Over 1 mile of frontage on both sides of County Road 4.  Roughly 78 acres of open grazing field with improved Kline grass and 146 acres of wooded and semi-wooded and riparian zones around the creek. Clay loam soils cover most of the ranch and provide excellent grazing.
Improvements: 4,110 sq ft custom home - four bedrooms, three and ½ baths, office that could be a fifth bedroom, two large living areas, spacious kitchen, screened in porch and attached garage with lots of storage space. Swimming pool and pool house that protects pool equipment and provides a storage space.
Guest house which needs significant work, barn and several storage buildings. 
Fenced and cross fenced with numerous livestock watering locations and working pens and corral.
LocationLocated ~8 miles north of Lampasas, TX and 80 miles north and west of Austin, TX.
Water: Lucy Creek runs through the property and provides running spring fed water most of the year. The deep holes on the creek typically hold water year-round. The property sits above the Trinity Aquifer. A water well on the property supplies water for stock animals, wildlife and irrigation. Kempner Water Supply Corporation provides water for both the main house and the guest house. 
Wildlife: The ranch habitat attracts most of the native Texas wildlife, whitetail deer, wild turkeys, feral hogs, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, mourning and white wing doves and many other native small animals and birds are present on the ranch.
Grasses and Trees: Native grasses, improved Kline grass in the pastures and native trees are flourishing on the ranch. There is a fantastic bottom along the creek that includes huge Pecan, Oak and Elm trees. There are some very large Elm trees near the main house that provide shade for the yard. Juniper or Cedar trees and Mesquite trees are also present but well controlled. 
Call for more information.
Coming Soon!
Wade Ranch
2669 County Road 119, Giddings, TX. 
~75 acres, Custom Home, Three Car Garage, Guest House, Barn, Covered Arena and 2.5 Acre Lake

Land: 75.116 total acres with over 740 feet of frontage on County Road 119. Fine sandy loam soils on most of the ranch are well suited for grazing pastureland for horses or cows. Clay loam soils along the creek and lake. The creek has a small professionally built dam and spillway which creates a year-round 2.5-acre lake.
Improvements: Very well maintained 2,857 sqft custom home built in 1997. Recently rebuilt, detached three car garage. Paved driveway with automatic gate goes to the main house. A second gate and paved road runs the length of the property along the East side. Completely fenced and cross fenced with pipe fencing. Large barn with additional living area, guest house and storage building, 14,400 sqft riding arena with additional air-conditioned space for living/party area. Three-acre lake, stock pond and Koi pond, improved pasture and hay field. Very well maintained and manicured property, perfect for the equine enthusiasts.
LocationLocated ~11 miles north and west of Giddings, TX. and ~70 miles due west of Austin.
Water: A tributary to Nails Creek runs through the property. A professionally built dam and spillway create a fantastic 2.5 acre lake. Includes two stock ponds and a Koi pond. The property sits atop the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.
Grasses and Trees:  Grasses and trees are kept manicured and well maintained. Native grasses, improved grass in the pastures and native trees are flourishing on the ranch.  
Call for more information.
Featured Hill Country Land Listings
Live, commute, or vacation at your Hill Country Dream! This home, nestled among 30 acres in the Texas Hill Country is conveniently located near Marble Falls. Less than 20 minutes from Marble Falls, Lake Marble Falls, and Lake LBJ’s Horseshoe Bay Resort. 4 miles to the Baylor Scott & White Hospital, 45 minutes to/from Austin’s Airport. Gated and private, this two story home was renovated in 2017 offering Open Concept Living Spaces with new windows, exterior doors, plumbing and fixtures, interior solid core doors, drywall ceilings downstairs, new insulation in the exterior walls and a walk-in decked attic, flooring, cabinets, and granite countertops throughout the home. There are 2 gas or wood burning fire places, 2017 appliances, including a Wolf Gas Stove, 2” operable window blinds on all windows, lighting with Lutron (dimmers on 90% of lights), ceiling fans, water heaters (2), water softener, central vacuum system and irrigation system.
Courtesy of: Richard Jay Herrington
This amazing home features panoramic views and high quality upgrades throughout. Formal dining plus breakfast area. Gorgeous, gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, built-in ovens and electric cooktop. French doors lead to a private home office with walk in library. Luxurious owner's retreat offers a stone fireplace, coffered ceilings with crown molding, pedestal tub and walk-in shower with seamless doors. Upstairs bonus room with wet bar and half bath and walk-in closet perfect for a media room or game-room. Plenty of oak trees and the property is cleared and fenced. The back patio is a two tiered with the first tier covered, second tier is not. There is also a small patio just off the owner's retreat. The oversized two car garage has storage. Located just minutes NE of Burnet and about 35 minutes NW of Austin w/easy access off paved County Rd 254 providing the best of opportunities for country living and still offers easy access to the city.
Courtesy of: Watters International Realty
Unrestricted and ag-exempt +/-35 acres located south of Marble Falls in a highly desirable area. The property is manicured and has a park like setting as you drive through the property. Improvements are located at the back of the property for ultimate privacy and include a spacious home with fenced yard, barn, and 2 RV sites with utilities. The farmhouse style home has three spacious bedrooms and two full bathrooms. One bedroom is currently being used as an office with a kitchenette. The barn consists of covered storage for implements, a large workshop area, and a craft room with A/C and half bath. Located only minutes from Marble Falls and within 30 minutes to Johnson City and Bee Cave, this property won't last long! Owners are both licensed real estate agents.
Courtesy of: Topper Real Estate
Own your piece of the beautiful Texas Hill Country with this 180 +/- acre ranch west of Llano near the ever popular community of Castell and the Llano River. This fantastic ranch has all the features one could want. It includes hill country views, rolling terrain, rock outcroppings, quality soils for livestock and wildlife, live water on the awesome Hickory Creek, huge oak and pecan trees, and some of the largest wild grape vines I have seen anywhere. These wild mustang grape vines produce grapes that truly make some of the best homemade jelly to be had. The ranch is full of wildlife of all kinds, and Hickory Creek will provide unlimited hours of entertainment throughout the year. Even though some areas of the creek will stop flowing above the sand during dry times, there is always huge amounts of water just under the sand.
Courtesy of: Landmasters Hill Country
Recent Sales
!!SOLD!!
Sycamore Falls Ranch
3050 Sycamore Falls Way, Marble Falls, TX 78654
103.89 acres
Price - $1,990,000
Description: ~104-acre turnkey recreational ranch located just north and west of Austin and east of Marble Falls in the Ranches of Sycamore Falls Estates. Located in the rugged Balcones Canyonlands with dramatic long-range views and large elevation changes across the property. The ranch includes everything needed for a large family gathering place (sleeps up to 20 people) or a long-term private residence. Includes a custom home, detached 3 car garage with storage and extra bedroom, guest house, large equipment storage building and workshop, swimming pool with spa and two stock ponds. This property is set up as the perfect getaway location and includes everything needed to immediately enjoy everything it has to offer. The property sale includes some furnishings in the house, guest house and garage apartment, deer feeders, fish feeder, hunting blinds, tripod stands, two Kubota tractors w/attachments and Kubota skid steer w/numerous attachments, a John Deere Gator and a 4 seat Kawasaki Mule. The current owners have done a fantastic job of updating, maintaining and improving the property. If you are looking for a well maintained, private turnkey recreational ranch with long range views, lots of native wildlife and plenty of room to roam, you do not want to miss this opportunity.
Lee County Acreage and Custom Home and Barn
1674 CR 119 Giddings, TX
~60 acres, fenced and cross fenced w/frontage on Nails Creek
List Price - $825,000
59.90 acres of beautiful open and rolling land located 8 miles north of Giddings, Texas. Just off FM 141 on paved CR 119. This property features a gorgeous, custom built two bedroom two and one half bath rock home loaded with custom features. Located on the ground floor are two spacious masters each with private bathrooms and walk in closets, a half bath for visitors, spacious utility room with additional countertop and storage areas, walk-in butlers pantry with built-in countertop and custom storage space and an open concept living, dining and kitchen areas surrounded by walls of windows which provide a beautiful view. The living area includes custom corner built-in entertainment center and vaulted ceiling extending to 17 feet. The kitchen includes a U-shaped bar/counter with seating on three sides, stainless steel appliances including double oven and bonus food prep/countertop areas and space for a formal dining area if desired. Located just off the dining area to the rear of the home is a covered patio for outdoor entertaining as well as access to an outdoor rock fireplace perfect for enjoying a chilly evening or roasting marshmallows or making Smores.
Buyers Representative
Courtesy of Westfall Real Estate
Canyon Lake Estate
1180 Purple Sage, Canyon Lake, TX 78133
Unrestricted ~3.4 acre Estate in Comal County
List price - $950,000
3.4-acre, unrestricted, oak covered estate currently available in the picturesque north Canyon Lake area. This estate includes a ~2400 sqft custom home, detached garage, small guest house, 700 sqft commercial grade office space, ~1800 sqft commercial grade winery building and all wine making equipment, custom greenhouse, vineyard, irrigation system, two water wells and much more.
The estate is completely enclosed and self-contained with a 6’ security fence and two automatic gates. Located just north of Canyon Lake.
The grounds include several ancient oak trees around the house as well as many other trees and ornamental bushes that create a sense of privacy.

This property has unrestricted possibilities. It includes everything needed to be developed into a commercial winery, or it can be used for other commercial purposes or just as a personal home, office and workspace.
  • Main House: Two story ~2400 sqft custom rock house built in 1985, three bedroom, 2 ½ baths, gourmet kitchen and lots of storage. Covered front and back porches with a unique outdoor BBQ pit built into the fireplace.
  • Detached two car garage with storage space.
  • Guest House: ~400 sqft modular guest house.
  • Commercial grade winery building: two story commercial grade building complete with wine making equipment and set up to process grapes and produce wine.
  • Office Space: standalone, 700 sqft office space complete with small parking area.

This estate is centrally located just North of Canyon Lake, 30 minutes to San Marcos, TX, 37 minutes to New Braunfels, 1 hour to downtown San Antonio and 1 hour to downtown Austin.
Each Office Independently Operated
Robert Pahmiyer
Phone: (281) 224-2094
Robert.pahmiyer@kw.com
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