Investment Real Estate


These charts show total returns for various forms of investment real estate in index form.  Over the last 20 years, farmland has returned 70%, timberland 52%, and commercial real estate 0%.

In the period from 1992 to 2001, timberland was the best performer, with returns of 5x the original investment compared to 2.8x for commercial property and farmland.  Since 2001, however, commercial real estate has given back all of those gains, timberland 87%, and farmland only 61%.

Farmland has held it's value for most of the last decade; the majority of it's losses have occurred since 2009, along with many other asset classes.

Commercial Property Price Index from 1998 to Present:

National Property Index from 1978 to Present:

NCREIF Timberland Index from 1987 to Present:

NCREIF Farmland Index from 1992 to Present:

Comments on Investment Real Estate Leave a Comment

January 26, 2015

F @ 7:52 am #

This makes me curious about how real estate markets look in places where there is actively falling populations, like Japan or Romania or some place similar. If the worldwide trend for fertility rates is going downwards, then it would seem to spell the future for housing prices…

June 27, 2015

Chris @ 2:02 pm #


Is there any way to get a longer term chart on farmland? If the NCREIF doesn't go back, is there another available proxy? I have seen Iowa and Illinois farmland prices used before in one study.

Will you be at Mark Skousen's FreedomFest next month?


January 12, 2016

Wes @ 10:42 am #

Here is Acres of Iowa Farmland in Gold Grams:


Data from World Gold Council and Kitco, Iowa State University Extension Farmland Values

I hope this link works.

July 11, 2016

antonio @ 11:16 pm #

thanks for the information.

January 22, 2018

Chris @ 3:09 pm #

Why has this not been updated since mid-2016?

January 23, 2018
February 9, 2019

Alex @ 7:46 pm #

Could you please update prices here to 2018? Thank you

February 10, 2019

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