2018-11-02Diskussionspapier DOI: 10.18452/19486.2
What Moves the German Land Market? A Decomposition of the Land Rent-Price Ratio
The price increases on agricultural land markets in the last decade have triggered a debate about land as an attractive investment opportunity for agricultural and nonagricultural investors. In a static environment, the rent-price ratio provides a first indicator of the profitability of an investment in land. In this paper, we apply the dynamic Gordon growth model to Western Germany and decompose the rent-price ratio into the expected present values of rental growth rates, real interest rates, and a land premium, i.e., the excess return on investment. This analysis reveals that the recent price surge on agricultural land markets was not unprecedented; second, the land market rent-price ratio is rather low compared to other markets and varies considerably among federal states; third, (expected) premia for land are mostly negative, rendering investments in farmland unprofitable for financial investors. Finally, we find that changing expected present values of returns on land investments are the major driver for land price volatility.
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