Is Drilling in the Marcellus Forcing Land Prices Higher?

The Centre Daily Times (State College, PA) implies that a recent auction of property in Centre County which had been seized for tax liens had higher than expected prices due to drilling in the Marcellus. The article begins thus:

BELLEFONTE — Property at Wednesday’s Centre County auction started selling at $1,000, but it didn’t take long for bidding on the first piece of land to reach $82,000.

Ditto for the next few parcels — all large pieces of Snow Shoe Township property in the Marcellus Shale natural gas region.

“Do I hear $150,000?” asked Chuck Salvanish, who works in the county tax assessment office and doubled as an auctioneer at Wednesday morning’s lien-free property sale in the county Courthouse Annex.

The winning bid on one 264-acre property quickly reached $300,000. Altogether, the sale brought in about $509,000, and drew upward of 100 people…

“I’m amazed at how many people are here,” said Sue Crowley, of Howard Township.

And this:

[Bill] Shreffler bid on a 76-acre Carlin Inc. property in Snow Shoe Township, but stopped at $49,000. The winning bid was $50,000.

Tarry Bratton, of York County, bid $20,000 for 163 acres of Carlin Inc. property in Snow Shoe Township that had at one time been a landfill.

I don’t live anywhere near Centre County, so I don’t know if those prices are high or not. How about you? Have land prices climbed in your area because of the Marcellus and the prospect of drilling? If they have (or haven’t), leave a comment.

Read the full article: County gets $509,000 in auction of property