This is false. Land in its basic form has very little intrinsic value; there are areas of land in Scotland, for example, which you would struggle to give away. Simply put, it is what you can do with, on, under or over land that provides the value.
So how does it work? The use of land will affect its value, for example, farming or, more recently, renewables, mining or oil fields; even fishing rights can make a difference.
With housing, the mistake most people make is assuming that the ground must be the key factor, as everything is built on it. It is, in fact, the opposite: the price of housing is determined by the supply and demand curve of the property market. At present, there are areas where there are too many purchasers and too few properties, pushing values up; equally, in other areas there are not enough purchasers for the properties available, with values static or falling as a result.
When we look at land values for residential developments, whether a single dwelling or a large development, a "Residual Valuation" is carried out. This involves a reverse calculation using the projected value or "Gross Development Value" of the site, taking into account the nature of the planning consent, the number of units and their probable values. Deducted from this figure are all of the associated costs of the development, including building costs, architects' fees, contingencies, profit, the cost of buying the site in conjunction with the cost of selling the units. The resultant figure is what the developer can afford to pay for the land.
With land purposed for residential development, its value is therefore determined by our demand for housing on it.