CHICAGO, IL, APRIL 25. 2022 – The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) has released first quarter 2022 results of the NCREIF Timberland Index. The index returned 3.21% for the quarter, down from 4.56% last quarter but up from .76% in the first quarter of 2021. The EBITDDA return, at 0.82%, was the same from the fourth quarter of 2021, while the appreciation return in the first quarter decreased 135 basis points quarter-over-quarter, down to 2.39%. The 3.21% first quarter return represents consecutive quarters where the single quarter return exceeds 3%.
The Total Timberland Index had a 11.82% rolling one-year return, comprised of a 3.39% EBITDDA and 8.23% appreciation return.
Timberland Quarterly Total Return Trends by Region
Returns for the quarter were once again positive across each region. The Northeast region had the highest return of the first quarter at 14.58%, comprised of .82% EBITDDA and 13.75% appreciation returns. The Lake States region returned 5.30% for the quarter, driven by solid appreciation return of 4.58%. The Northwest and South regions returned, respectively, 3.04% and 2.38% for the quarter, buoyed by both strong appreciation returns of 2.04% and 1.62% as well as positive EBITDA returns of 1.00% and .76%. First quarter results reflect the continued recovery of log markets across the U.S., as prices in some areas reached marks not seen since the Global Financial Crisis.
Timberland Market Value per Acre in USD by Region
Timberland market value per acre was $1,847 for the first quarter, up 2.03% from its previous quarter mark. All regions experienced per acre market value increases. The South, Northwest, Northeast and Lake States regions ended the quarter with market values per acre of $1,878, $2,863, $1,424 and $634, respectively, representing strong increases of 1.58%, 2.85%, 13.34% and 2.90% from fourth quarter values. This was due largely to price increases across the regions from increased demand.
The NCREIF Timberland Index consists of 475 investment-grade timber properties with a market value of $24.8 billion. This includes 333 properties in the South, 86 in the Northwest, 37 in the Northeast, and 17 in the Lake States. This data enhances the ability of institutional investors to evaluate the risk and performance of timberland investments across the United States.