I've taken a look at the Land Auction page from Lindenlab today for closed auctions. Seems they're adding eight new regions per day at the moment, most appear at the new continent in the east, I guess.
The average prize a new region is sold for is around 3.000 US$. Now 8 regions auctioned off per day makes 24.000 US$ income per day and for the tier-fees later 1.560 US$ safely per month. Not bad, he?
And all that for a dual CPU machine which can host two regions alone.
Well, and if you convert the price into land values and the owner wants to make some profit with the region, this means high land prices. Of course.
A region has 65.336 square meters. So, you can buy 270 L$ at the moment for 1 US-$. This means already that you need to take about 12 L$ per square meter only if you want to get this investment in. Now take the tier-fees into account, too, makes around 0.80 L$ per square meter in the first month. Let's say if you want to sell the region without loss in the first month you need at least a prize from 13 L$ per square meter.
But many want to make big profits, so 13 L$ is not being seen so much on the regions, quite often you're going to see higher prices. Well, that's the reason still why land prices are high and not going down, soon, I suspect. Since it's also LL main income source they're going to milk the cow as long as its being possible and in the end we're all paying the price for it. Well, all that want to own land on the mainland.
Well, and because of missing covenants at most mainland sims, the housing can be real terrible.