Starting with no value in city site, average values of acreage on outskirts, mechanics' residence lots, better grades of residence lots and business lots. - Tables of average values for best business and best residence land in cities of different sizes and in certain selected cities.
Starting from the condition of no value in land when a city originates, let us consider the scale of average values of residence and business land in cities of various sizes, land used for other purposes being omitted as being more of an individual problem.
At the outer circumference of cities land is held as acreage, the prices per acre advancing from the normal value of farm land near cities, $50 to $150 per acre, up to market garden land, which may earn interest on $300 to $1,000 per acre, and, finally, to speculative tracts held at $500 to $5,000 per acre, whose prices are based on the estimated earnings of the land when it secures the anticipated utilization. Since the proportion of land occupied by streets averages about 35%, the conversion of acreage into lots means a loss in building area of that percentage, so that with the expenses of platting, opening streets, taxes, loss of interest, etc, it is generally estimated that property bought by the acre must sell by the lot for double the acre price in order to avoid loss in handling.
The cheapest lots in any city are those utilized for workmen's houses, varying in smaller cities from $150 to $300. The larger the city the larger the number of well paid mechanics and the greater the effective demand for lots. A mechanic's lot on the outskirts of a small city differs from one on the outskirts of New York not only in price but in size, those in small towns having 50 to 60 feet frontage, and those in New York 15 to 20 feet frontage with usually two-family houses on them. Thus an average price of $150 for 50x100 foot lots in small cities would be equivalent to $1,300 per net acre after platting, or $850 per acre as acreage, and a price of $300 for 15x100 foot lots in large cities would be equivalent to $7,700 per net acre after platting, or $5,000 per acre as acreage. In the outskirts of the smaller cities platted land runs as low as $2 to $4 per front foot, and there are built up mechanics' sections with street car accommodation less than a mile from the centre of cities of 30,000 population, where land sells at but $5 per front foot, equivalent to 5 cents per square foot.
Council Bluffs. Business section. Figures represent value of corners, for lot of average width and depth, in dollars per front foot.
Salt Lake City. Business section. Figures represent value of corners, for lot of average width and depth, in dollars per front foot.
Duluth. Business section. Figures represent value of corners, for lot of average width and depth, in dollars per front foot.
Seattle, Wash. Business section. Figures represent value of corners, for lot of average width and depth, in dollars per front foot.