Looking to buy cheap land? Here is the cheapest in the USA.

Check out this map of land values across the USA.

The wealthy landowners with the most acreage tend to buy in areas with cheap land. Almost half of the cheap land in northern Maine is owned by just a few families!

Some of the oddities on the private land map are due to the history of how private railroad construction was subsidized by the US government. The government gave a corridor of land to railroad companies that they could sell to make money to pay for construction along certain routes:

Today, you can still see strips of private ownership along these routes such as the strip through Nevada where the Central Pacific railroad runs and through Arizona that is a legacy of the Atlantic & Pacific route.

The main thing that makes land valuable is having more neighbors because higher population density means more customers, more jobs, and higher productivity per acre as shown in this map:

If we switched our tax system more towards a land-value tax, it would increase population density and also make land cheaper.

Looking for more data about real estate prices? Numbeo has some interesting numbers although they seem to be crowdsourced which can be inaccurate. According to them, the USA has some of the most affordable cities in the world when adjusted for earning power. Of course, for travelers, other things are more important than real estate for determining cost of living.

Posted in Public Finance, Real Estate

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