Farmland values in Huron County continued their upward trajectory in 2023, albeit at a slower pace compared to previous years.
The increase of just over 10 per cent marked a significant decline from the previous two years, where annual increases hovered around 25 per cent. Despite this, many areas in Southwestern Ontario, including Huron, reached new highs, with farms trading for over $25,000 per acre and some even surpassing $40,000 per acre.
This surge in land values persisted despite challenges such as higher interest rates and fluctuating commodity prices. Interest rates for farmers in 2023 were notably higher than the lows experienced in the previous years, although there was a favorable drop in mortgage rates towards the end of the year. On the commodity front, the price of corn experienced a notable decrease, dropping by 35 per cent throughout the year.
The shift in demand was evident in the last quarter of 2023, with fewer bidders for each farm. This resulted in some unexpected sales, with prices lower than the previously observed highs. The variability in the market became apparent, with some areas seeing sales near new highs while others experienced lower prices.