The Best Cities to Buy Land in 2023

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Land investing is an exciting opportunity for savvy investors to diversify their portfolios and build long-term wealth. Purchasing land can be lucrative because land values tend to appreciate over time, making it a sound investment. Land investing also allows individuals to benefit from tax advantages and earn passive income by leasing land for farming or other uses.

As with any asset, buyers should consider location, zoning regulations, access to infrastructure, and market conditions when purchasing land as an investment. By doing research ahead of time and consulting experienced land buyers, investors can make sure they are making the best decision for their financial future. In this article, we’ll explore the top 15 cities in the US to buy land in 2023.

These locations have been selected based on their potential for development and redevelopment opportunities in the coming years, according to Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2023 by the Urban Land Institute and PwC. The views in this report come from 1,450 survey responses and 617 interviews with investors, fund managers, developers, property companies, lenders, brokers, and advisers. We supplement their findings with data from Crexi Intelligence to provide a complete picture of why these markets offer a promising ROI.

What Makes a City Good for Land Investing?

It pays to thoroughly research when looking to buy and invest in land. For example, certain cities are better suited for land investing, based on population growth, economic conditions, and job opportunities. A promising city for land investing should have  the following qualities:

Strong population growth

Growing cities can open up new possibilities for development and redevelopment projects. This can mean more potential money flows into the local economy and a higher demand for land investment opportunities.

Economic stability

Investing in land requires a long-term commitment and an understanding of how changes in the local economy may affect the value of your investment. Look for cities with solid corporate sectors or booming technology hubs to ensure a more stable economy and predictable growth.

Job opportunities

When evaluating a city for land investing, look at the job market. Cities with plenty of employment opportunities are better suited for land investments because they tend to attract workers who need homes or businesses that require land ownership.

You can find cities with great potential for buy-and-hold land investment strategies by researching and considering these factors. With strong population growth, economic stability, and job opportunities, you’ll have more control over your return on investment in the short and long term.

15 Top Cities for Land Development in 2023

Land investing is becoming a more popular and profitable venture for investors , making it an attractive option for those looking to buy land as part of their portfolio in 2023. With the proper research and due diligence, investors can identify cities with strong potential for appreciating land values. Below are some of the USA’s top cities with great land development opportunities in 2023.

Dallas, Texas, USA downtown city skyline.
Dallas, Texas, USA downtown city skyline.

1. Dallas/Fort Worth

Dallas/Fort Worth is an ideal location for land investing, boasting a thriving economy and consistent population growth over its 8,600 square miles of metropolitan area. It offers potential investors attractive housing options and amenities, as well as major corporations such as American Airlines, ExxonMobil, and AT&T, that generate job growth. These factors ultimately make Dallas and Fort Worth two desirable destinations for buying land investments. To date in 2022, land purchases in this area have amounted to $3.93B in total value, according to Crexi data.

Downtown Nashville Sunset

2. Nashville

Nashville, known as “Music City,” offers plenty of commercial and residential land investment opportunities. Its robust tech scene, low cost of living, and numerous job opportunities draw in new residents each year. Its local government is also investing in and encouraging growth and sustainability. Redevelopment projects make buying land investments here a desirable option, with $2.8B in land sales completed in 2022 alone, per Crexi comps reports..

Tampa Florida skyline

3. Tampa/St. Petersburg

Tampa/St. Petersburg is an excellent location for land investment due to its winning combination of an enjoyable climate, solid job growth, and a robust economy. The waterfront scene, booming job market, and proximity to Orlando make Tampa and St. Petersburg desirable options for those looking to purchase property near the water in one of the best land markets in the US. Crexi comps data reported over $1.27B in land sales in Tampa alone so far this year.

A look at downtown Raleigh's skyline with crepe myrtle trees blooming.

4. Raleigh/Durham

Raleigh/Durham is an attractive area for land investment opportunities due to its rapidly growing economy, diversified job market and cultural attractions, proximity to Research Triangle Park, and desirable neighborhoods like Five Points and Downtown Durham. Redevelopment projects are ongoing in these areas, making buying land investments potentially lucrative. With a mild climate for development and redevelopment, this metropolitan region presents an ideal spot for those seeking to buy land investments. Indeed, investors have traded $1.35B worth of land so far in 2022, according to Crexi data.

Downtown of the city of Miami

5. Miami

Miami is an increasingly attractive market to buy land in thanks to its rapidly growing population, diversified economy, vibrant cultural scene, abundance of entertainment venues, and desirable location along the Atlantic Coast. So far in 2022, upward of  $3.84B in land value has traded hands, signaling the intense long-term demand for Miami acreage, according to Crexi data. Investors can buy land near popular neighborhoods such as Little Havana, Coconut Grove, or Brickell to generate high returns or buy and hold until the time is right for development or resale. 

Aerial of Auston Texas from the Congress Avenue Bridge next to the Statesmans Bat Observation Center.

6. Austin

Austin’s reputation as a vibrant, forward-thinking city makes it an ideal land investment spot. Its strong economy, tech-centered job market, and diverse culture draw in plenty of potential buyers to buy land investments here. Additionally, the city is known for its green initiatives and encourages development projects that emphasize sustainability. Austin also offers numerous redevelopment opportunities, with trendy neighborhoods like South Congress seeing an influx of interest from potential investors.

River walk in San Antonio city downtown skyline cityscape of Texas USA at sunset

7. San Antonio

San Antonio has a growing population and job market, proximity to Mexico, and attractive amenities. Its unique cultural heritage, tourist attractions such as the River Walk, and mild climate make this area irresistible to potential property buyers. It’s also home to several universities providing promising employment opportunities for recent graduates. 

Additionally, San Antonio’s urban development initiatives create plenty of redevelopment opportunities. Per Crexi’s database, the city’s already traded $3.77B in land value in 2022 so far, indicating strong demand for regional acquisitions. 

Panoramic view of downtown Charlotte, NC as seen from Romare Bearden Park

8. Charlotte

Charlotte has grown increasingly popular among land investors thanks to its strong economy, countless entertainment venues, and desirable location in the heart of North Carolina. The city is home to many Fortune 500 companies that provide plentiful job opportunities and an ideal environment for land development and redevelopment in Charlotte. Indeed, investors have already traded $2.06B in acreage, according to comps data on Crexi. Land investors can buy near popular areas such as South End, Dilworth, or Uptown for land investments that could generate attractive returns.

West Palm Beach, Florida, USA downtown skyline.

9. West Palm Beach

With miles of beaches along Florida’s East Coast, warm weather, and easy access to amenities like airports and golf courses, West Palm Beach is an attractive land investment option. This area offers investors the opportunity to buy affordable land near desirable locations such as Palm Beach Island, Singer Island, and Boca Raton. West Palm Beach is also home to a variety of redevelopment projects, such as Transit Village, that have the potential to generate high returns for land investors.

Atlanta City Views

10. Atlanta

Atlanta has the potential to  be a great land investment market in 2023 due to its strong economic growth and low unemployment rate. The city has seen a resurgence of population growth, with businesses seeking to capitalize on Atlanta’s access to world-class infrastructure and labor resources.

 Additionally, the city boasts an affordable cost of living and an abundance of available space for development. With various investment options, from commercial real estate to residential land developments, Atlanta offers plenty of potential for all types of investors. On Crexi, we’ve seen nearly $1.1B in sales occur so far in 2022, encompassing over 1,000 total transactions.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA skyline.

11. Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale has long been known for its land investment opportunities due to its vibrant culture, desirable location along the coast, and proximity to Miami and the Gulf Coast. Potential buyers in this area can find land investments near popular sites such as Las Olas Boulevard and Hollywood Beach that may provide attractive returns on their investments. There’s also an abundance of redevelopment projects underway in Fort Lauderdale – making it an ideal spot for investors looking for a profitable opportunity.

Gorgeous sunset aerial panoramic view of the Orlando, Florida

12. Orlando

Investors seeking land investments in Florida should look to Orlando, which is home to a thriving job market and plenty of entertainment venues. It’s also close to many of the state’s leading attractions, such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. 

Investors can buy land in desirable areas such as Downtown Orlando that have seen recent redevelopment projects promising high returns or near popular neighborhoods like Baldwin Park, College Park, or Winter Park for attractive opportunities. As of this writing, investors have transacted over $2.4B in land acquisitions in 2022, according to Crexi’s data.

Washington DC aerial view with Thomas Jefferson Memorial building
Washington DC aerial view with Thomas Jefferson Memorial building

13. Washington DC/Northern VA

Washington DC and Northern Virginia are ideal buy land investment locations due to the presence of numerous government institutions, major corporations, universities, and countless other attractions. Investors in this area can buy land near downtown DC or opt for land investments in popular suburbs like Alexandria, Arlington, or Herndon if they’re looking for more affordable options with potentially higher returns.

Kansas City, Missouri – city in the United States. Downtown skyline.

14. Kansas City

Kansas City, MO, is an ideal place for land investing due to its relatively low cost of living and numerous development opportunities. The city’s stable economy offers easy access to local resources such as transportation infrastructure, schools, and healthcare services. Additionally, the city’s ample outdoor recreation and cultural attractions make it attractive to potential residents looking for a good quality of life. With its strong real estate investment market and affordable home prices, Kansas City provides investors with numerous opportunities to acquire profitable investments in land.

New York City, NYC, USA

15. New York City – Outer Boroughs

New York’s outer boroughs offer investors numerous land investment opportunities due to their proximity to Manhattan and the Big Apple’s many attractions. Investors may find land ripe for development in Brooklyn, Queens, or The Bronx near popular areas such as Greenpoint, Astoria, or Riverdale. Redevelopment projects also abound in these boroughs – offering land investors potentially high returns on their investments. To date in 2022, investors have acquired $2.63B in land acreage and 139 total acres, per Crexi data.

Get more land parcel data at your fingertips with Crexi Intelligence.

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Shanti Ryle
Shanti Ryle

Content Marketing Manager

Shanti leads Crexi's content marketing strategies with 7+ years of content development experience, creating everything from blog posts to award-winning podcasts. Previously, she worked on content teams at Snapchat, Weedmaps, and HopSkipDrive as well as developed copy, articles, and media for freelance publications.

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