How Much An Acre Of Land Costs In Each State

By Kathy Morris
Aug. 16, 2022
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Cost Of An Acre In Each State Research Summary

  • The state with the cheapest land in the U.S. is Wyoming, where one acre costs an average of $1,558.

  • The state with the most expensive land in the U.S. is New Jersey, where one acre costs a whopping $196,410.

  • The average acreage of property in the U.S. is 10,871 square feet, or a quarter of an acre.

Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream.

However, as of 2020, the United States had a supply shortage of 3.8 million homes making home ownership simply out of reach for many.

This home shortage, combined with low-interest rates and workers having more flexibility in housing location, has led to a boom in homebuilding. In fact, new home construction is at the highest levels since 2006.

However, just like home prices vary by state, so too does the price of land. We analyzed the data to find the states with the most (and least) affordable land by acre.

The results? Some states have land costly enough to buy a simple starter in other parts of the country.

10 Most Expensive States To Buy Land

  1. New Jersey
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Maryland
  6. Delaware
  7. New York
  8. California
  9. Ohio
  10. Pennsylvania

Land prices in the Northeast are the most expensive. Tiny, densely packed New Jersey will set buyers back the most at a sky-high $196,410. Where should buyers look for more affordable land?

10 Cheapest States To Buy Land

  1. Wyoming
  2. New Mexico
  3. Nevada
  4. South Dakota
  5. Montana
  6. North Dakota
  7. Nebraska
  8. Idaho
  9. Kansas
  10. Arizona

They should go west (but not too far west.) In fact, the overlap between states with more cows than people and states with the cheapest land is strong. These states could tempt some newly remote workers to head west and start saying “ya’ll.” Of course, before they start packing up the Tesla they might want to make sure their new home has speedy fast internet for that job that pays for it.


This one was fairly simple. To find out how much an acre of land costs in each state, we reviewed the estimated average land value for each state from an April 2015 working paper by William Larson for the Bureau of Economic Analysis, “New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States.”

In this Larson presents a range of land value models for estimating land prices in 2009. This looks at a combination of urban and rural land throughout the state to produce the average cost. It looks at both commercial and residential values.

Unfortunately, Alabama, Alaska, and Hawaii were excluded from this study.

Don’t Get Too Excited

While the low sticker price may have you ready to build your own McMansion, don’t get too excited just yet.

For one thing, these are average prices. So the price for that sweet plot of land a reasonable commute from your work, with easy access to all the places you want to go may run you a lot more.

For another, while land may be cheap, odds are good you aren’t envisioning a tent and you’ll want to put a house on that land– Which comes with a lot of expensive needs like plumbing, electricity, and walls.

And even if the land is affordable, the rest of the house may or may not be in your budget. Or the land you can afford may not have the broadband access you need for your remote job.

Average Cost Per Acre

Rank State Avg. Cost Per Acre
1 New Jersey $196,410
2 Rhode Island $133,730
3 Connecticut $128,824
4 Massachusetts $102,214
5 Maryland $75,429
6 Delaware $57,692
7 New York $41,314
8 California $39,092
9 Ohio $32,077
10 Pennsylvania $31,923
11 Florida $28,961
12 Michigan $23,765
13 Illinois $23,492
14 Virginia $21,921
15 New Hampshire $19,840
16 South Carolina $17,610
17 Indiana $16,903
18 Washington $16,752
19 North Carolina $16,230
20 Tennessee $14,411
21 Georgia $14,242
22 Louisiana $12,908
23 West Virginia $10,537
24 Wisconsin $9,924
25 Minnesota $8,191
26 Texas $7,542
27 Vermont $7,439
28 Oklahoma $7,364
29 Missouri $7,233
30 Kentucky $7,209
31 Arkansas $6,739
32 Iowa $6,590
33 Oregon $6,503
34 Colorado $6,462
35 Maine $6,142
36 Mississippi $5,565
37 Utah $4,664
38 Arizona $4,328
39 Kansas $4,220
40 Idaho $3,435
41 Nebraska $2,936
42 North Dakota $2,517
43 Montana $2,283
44 South Dakota $2,135
45 Nevada $2,116
46 New Mexico $1,931
47 Wyoming $1,558

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Kathy Morris

Kathy is the head of content at Zippia with a knack for engaging audiences. Prior to joining Zippia, Kathy worked at Gateway Blend growing audiences across diverse brands. She graduated from Troy University with a degree in Social Science Education.

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