THE BLOG
02/21/2014 11:36 am ET | Updated Apr 23, 2014

Land: They're Not Making Any More of It

In the classic book (and movie) Gone with the Wind, author Margaret Mitchell said: "The land is the only thing in the world worth working for, worth fighting for, worth dying for, because it's the only thing that lasts." Though not as dire as proclaimed in the famous movie, land ownership IS that important.

Home construction ebbs and flows but land is always there. Indeed, land ownership reacts to markets much like building a home, but it stays there and always has value.

According to experts, our market's future carries much potential moving forward and expect rising prices to lead to an increase in sales volume and inventory.

But in analyzing existing values, it is important to look at the historical data. The Phoenix housing and land markets bottomed out in 2011. The land market went down to nearly 7.6 percent of the peak values of 2006. Land in the outskirt areas, bottomed out in 2012, reaching 4.6 percent of the 2005 peak values.

But the past two years have seen a dramatic turnaround though those outlying areas typically lag. But they never lose their value.

The major metropolitan areas have expanded beyond what people ever dreamt of and cities, once separated by 50 to 100 miles, now have suburbs and exburbs touching with city borders and that's why the dream of land ownership remains a benchmark for people who want something that lasts.

Visionaries such as Walt Disney envisioned a theme park in Orlando, 20 years before its opening, with the company purchasing what was basically swampland but they had indications of a soon-to-be bustling city center. After World War II, soldiers traveling east to west and back, stopped in a dusty old mining town to refuel. A group of dreamers saw a city and Las Vegas was born.

None of this was by accident. It took hard scientific and business sense, looking at maps, highways, and proximity to other towns. If there was no water, they'd bring it in. If there was no electricity, they would build dams and pretty soon, NO place was too far removed. Much like television and the Internet brought the world closer, land and its purchase and exploration built rising cities... in bayous, and yes... in the desert.

There is an upswing for raw land. As demand for housing grows, demand for land grows. It's a simple fact of economics and American ingenuity.

Check out the top 5 landowners in the U.S. in Forbes.