Land Use Succession

Definition of "Land use succession"

Andrew  McAnally real estate agent
Andrew McAnally, Real Estate Agent Taylor Realty Associates

The term land use succession definition can be looked at from two perspectives. While the general way to define land use succession would be “changes that occur over time in the use of a neighborhood” there are other points of view worthy of explanation. Several factors from several directions contribute to land use succession but they all have to deal with organic growth or development

Land Use Succession in Real Estate

In a residential neighborhood, the aging of the residents and the growth and maturity of their children will eventually cause a turnover in the ownership of the housing. Residential neighborhoods bordering the business districts may eventually be overwhelmed by the expansion of the business district. Other contributing factors include the physical aging of the building structures leading to obsolescence and eventual abandonment.

That would clearly explain urban land use succession, but let’s look at how land use succession can occur and be interpreted. These types explain how the use of land can develop, change or grow over time in an urban area.

Old Building to Lot

While land use succession is usually meant to increase the value of the property, this type of land use succession is necessary. For instance, the owner of a rental property can decide to demolish their property even if they do not intend to immediately develop another type of property on the lot. This type of landuse succession is the demolition of property to hold land. This can even be applied to a homeowner who has a house that’s not in the best shape and might be less attractive to sell the property as-is than to clear the property and sell the land. In case an investor is interested in the area, for them, the demolition might be a hassle, or for a potential new owner.


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In this situation, the owner of the property may not have the funds to build something else on it, so these spaces can become parking lots.

Old Building to New Building

By taking the example above, this type of land use succession ensures that once an old building is torn down, a new one takes its place immediately. For example, the space of a single-family home may transition towards an office building if the property is close to a business center, or a part of another bigger project, depending on the needs in the distinct area.

Old Building to Nothing

As we already mentioned above, land use succession usually means that the value of the property increases. That usually is the goal of real estate investors. However, investors aren’t the only owners of property unless you count homeowners as investors. While seeing their property as an asset can bring benefits, not taking out anything when you stop using your property is a mistake. Still, land use succession can also take the form of abandonment. And this, by far, is the worst type of land use succession as the property or land is not useful to anyone. This can come as a result of the untimelypassing of an owner with no clear legal successor, or when a property, regardless of its state, is put on the market at a much higher price than it deserves and no one buys it.

Comments for Land Use Succession

Alimi Rasheed Kolawole Alimi Rasheed Kolawole said:

What are the causes of land use succession?

Jan 16, 2019  18:49:48

Real Estate Agent

One of the main causes of land use changes is the lack of proper planning paired with an aging population. For example, in Oregon, the average age of farmers is 60. This means that less land will be used for agriculture in the future. Land can change to pastures or can be replaced by a new plant or industrial factory. Another cause for land use changes is the solar technology - fields (pastures and agricultural land) are covered with solar panels that generate electrical energy. This investment is more profitable than agriculture, so we shouldn't be surprised if this trend continues in the future. 

In densely populated areas, land use succession is due to changes in the local economy and demography. Old buildings are demolished in order to make room for new shopping centers and condominiums. Real estate investors usually play a great role in land use changes, since they anticipate what will happen in the future and try to build accordingly. 

Jan 17, 2019  03:28:07

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