Study: Price of Southold farmland jumps slightly in past decade

(Credit: BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO) | County Executive Steve Bellone has proposed changes to the county's farmland preservation bill that would include more agritourism uses on preserved parcels. Pictured is Reeves Farm on Main Road in Aquebogue.
Farmland on the North Fork hasn’t seen an increase an value like the South Fork. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file).

The increase in the value of North Fork farmland pales in comparison to the rise in value of South Fork farmland over the past decade, according to a market study released by Farm Credit East, a local agricultural lender. 

Farmland values in Suffolk are among the highest in the state and nation, with property on the South Fork leading land values, according to the study.

The study, which analyzed the sales of farmland properties over nine acres during the past decade, found the median price of farmland has increased by just 1.7 percent in Southold, while the South Fork experienced a 98 percent increase, according to the analysis, though it did offer an explanation.

Jenny Montalbano, an appraiser with Farm Credit East, said additional research would be needed to fully understand the data.

The study also found that farmland that maintains full development rights is increasing in price, while prices for parcels that have been protected through the sale of development rights have remained stable.

According to the study, farmland with full development rights is currently at a median sales price of $86,466 per acre, while preserved farmland is going for at $29,268 per acre on average countywide, a decrease of 13 percent from the 5-year period of 2003-2008 prior, where the median sale price was $32,146.

Suffolk County also had 94 preserved farmland sales between 2003 and 2013, while a total of 110 full rights farmland sales occurred over the same period, according to the study.

Given this data, the agricultural land base in Suffolk County is worth an estimated $2.25 billion, the analysis states.

To read the full study see below.

Farm Credit East Releases 2014 Farmland Value Report