November 4, 2011 by Land Report Editors
Filed under California, Cattle, Colorado, Conservation, Equestrian, Farming, Feature, Field Reporters, Golf, Hawaii, Hunting, Land Report Top 10, Midwest, Minerals, Montana, Nevada, Pacific, Recreation, Residential Property, Southwest, Texas, West, Wyoming
From Hawaii to the Lone Star State, here are America’s priciest properties, led by $175 million Jackson Land and Cattle Ranch, pictured here, which is listed by Hall and Hall.
1. Jackson Land and Cattle: $175 million
These 1,750 acres are simply the most phenomenal property to come to the market in the Teton Valley in decades. Jackson Land and Cattle is one-of-a-kind in every respect: world-class improvements, including an equestrian center designed by Jonathan Foote, AIA; lack of any development restrictions; and don’t forget the stunning Teton views. Hall and Hall’s John Pierce has the listing.
2. Walton Ranch: $100 million
This 1,848-acre working cattle ranch was pieced together by the Walton family beginning in 1958. The family placed the ranch under conservation easement in 1983. Billy Long and Ron Morris of Ranch Marketing Associates have the listing.
3. Ranch Dos Pueblos: $84 million
This oceanfront parcel is on the market for the first time in three decades. Spanning 2,175 acres just west of Santa Barbara, it’s one of the largest remaining ranches along the breathtaking Gaviota Coast. Kerry Mormann & Associates has the listing.
4. Tranquility Estate: $75 million
These 210 acres on Lake Tahoe are crowned by a 20,000 square-foot mansion. Owned by Tommy Hilfiger co-founder Joel Horowitz, it was originally priced at $100 million in 2006. Listed by Shari Chase and Sue Lowe of Chase International.
5. Aspen Valley Ranch: $59 million
Billed as the largest ranch near Aspen in the Roaring Fork Valley, this ranch boasts senior water rights as well as over 800 acres and is located just 10 minutes from the Aspen airport. Joshua Saslove of Joshua & Co. has the listing.
6. Robert Taylor Ranch: $56 million
112 acres in Los Angeles’s tony Brentwood enclave. The roomy ranch house, which was designed by Robert Byrd, features 17 bedrooms and 17 bathrooms. Joyce Rey of Coldwell Banker Previews International has the listing.
7. Hana Ranch: $55 million
This 4,500-acre working ranch on eastern Maui surrounds the town of Hana. The property boasts two miles of Pacific oceanfront and rises over 2,200 feet up the slopes of Haleakala. Dan Omer of Island Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.
8. Rockpile Ranch: $54 million
For only the third time in over a century, this 55,374-acre cattle ranch in the Davis Mountains of Far West Texas is on the market. Since 1992, the Rockpile has been owned by McCoy Remme Ranches (No. 41 on the 2011 Land Report 100). James King of King Land and Water is the listing agent.
9. Dana Ranch: $45 million
With only two distinguished owners in nearly 100 years and an unmatched record of profitability, the Dana is considered by many to be the finest operating and recreational ranch in the Rocky Mountain West. Supporting 3,000 animal units on 59,000± acres, it boasts over 13 miles of superb fisheries and an incredible diversity of wildlife resources from elk to waterfowl to upland birds. Listed by Dave Johnson with Hall and Hall.
10. Flying Dog Ranch: $40 million
This 245-acre Aspen landmark features nearly a mile of Collins Creek and Woody Creek and borders the White River National Forest. Morris & Fyrwald Sotheby’s International Realty has the listing.
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A well-known Rocky Mountain landmark, Colorado’s 470-acre Perry Ranch, sold for $11 million ($23,000+ per acre). The sellers paid $13 million for the Routt County ranch in 2007 intending to improve it and then market it as a conservation development property, but last year’s recession squelched those plans. Hall & Hall’s Brian Smith in Steamboat Springs represented the seller. Tim Casey of Mountain Marketing Associates in Breckenridge represented the buyer. The transaction closed on June 30.
The original asking price of $25 million dropped to $19.5 million and then to $16 million last year when the economy tanked. “This sale is very indicative of what we’re now seeing: 15 to 25 percent off market highs,” says Smith, referring to the spread between the sellers’ purchase price in 2007 and the 2009 sale.
“Buyers who are not trying to pinpoint the bottom of the market can find all sorts of opportunities. A lot of sellers, particularly those with a higher basis in a property, are recognizing current market conditions and adjusting their asking price,” says Smith. “What made this property such an outstanding opportunity was the size of the parcel and its proximity to downtown Steamboat Springs. The south fence line is literally one mile to the city limits. One minute you’re tucked away by yourself in a lush little valley with aspen groves and Soda Creek. Hop in your truck and five minutes later you’re on Main Street. Best of both worlds. It’s extremely difficult to find that combination near a resort town, whether it’s Steamboat, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Jackson, or Sun Valley.”
Open range, snow capped peaks, and beautiful views embody what many seek when searching for their first piece of property. One need look no further than the scenic American West when searching for this ideal piece of land.
The Rocky Mountain area continues to be a prime location for landowners seeking convenience and amenity in their purchase. John Pierce of Hall & Hall Ranch Sales says many looking to move to the Rockies do so because of the traditional resort ski areas.
“You have your resort communities and properties within reasonable striking distance of those ski communities. There are Jackson, Steamboat, Vail, and Aspen, those kinds of markets. You have your lesser known like Missoula, Livingston, Bozeman, those areas have been strong although they aren’t first and foremost known as ski towns,” Pierce says. “They are more known as nice communities within reasonable proximity of skiing but not known as a ski community.”
One area where Pierce says he’s seen the most growth is Park City, Utah. Names like Aspen and Snowmass are synonymous with skiing; cost and overcrowding have some potential buyers looking elsewhere.
“You’ve seen a lot of growth in the Park City area because of convenience. [An airport] hub like Salt Lake City where you’re 30 minutes into the mountains from the point you touch down is extremely convenient,” Pierce says.
Park City is 40 miles from the Salt Lake City International Airport while Aspen and Steamboat Springs are more than 180 miles from Denver International Airport.
“With commercial flight becoming more challenging, that’s a big part of it. You go into Denver, and it’s still quite a ways to the ski areas. It’s not as convenient as Salt Lake City with Deer Valley and Park City. That’s certainly an area where we’ve seen a fair amount of growth,” Pierce says. “Going to an Aspen or a Sun Valley; it’s that much more complicated.”
If there is property to be had, many willing buyers are there ready to scoop it up. Pierce says access is the key with many weekend warriors flying to their land from “the major money centers around the country.”
It’s a national draw so air travel is a must.
Still, Pierce says, there isn’t a slowdown in any ski resort communities in the area on the horizon. There will always be buyers for properties in the traditional ski areas.
Hall and Hall’s listings currently point to a high demand market. There are no properties in Pitkin County (Aspen) and only one property, an 876-acre retreat, in the Park City area.
A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune says that home sales in the area are sagging with more than 2,600 homes priced in excess of $500,000 on the market. Acreage is harder to find however. The Wasatch Front MLS lists only 34 properties with more than four acres of land.
“We have definitely seen more funds coming into the marketplace place as potential buyers where they are looking at it as an investment,” Pierce says.