Recent auction sales in the south west have achieved better than guide prices on several occasions, with commercial farmland in great demand. They have also shown that for the right location, residential interest is still keen.


Greenslade Taylor Hunt took Eastmere Farm at Chevithorne, near Tiverton, to £2.82m on a guide price of £2.25m. This mixed commercial holding of almost 127ha (313 acres) was sold as a whole to a farmer, with a farmer the underbidder, too.

It included a six-bedroom Victorian house needing modernisation, two semi-detached farm cottages, a large range of traditional and more modern farm buildings.

About one-third of the acreage at Eastmere is currently in arable crops, with up to two-thirds capable of growing arable crops, said agent Tony Overhill.

The firm sold Fair Oak Farm at Upottery on the same day for £1.92m compared with its £1.525m guide price. This farm appealed mainly to the residential market, said the firm’s Will Handel, with about 81ha (200 acres) of pasture, roughly half of which is ploughable, with a further 20ha (50 acres) of mainly woodland and a small acreage of scrub.

The house has not been occupied for several years and the large traditional barns and more modern farm buildings also needed investment, said Mr Handel.

“We felt auction was the best way for this farm as it was difficult to pinpoint its true value – the investment it required meant the farmer buyer couldn’t compete with the lifestyle buyer.” (Greenslade Taylor Hunt 01404 46222)

Pottery Farm at Horton near Ilminster, Somerset, was sold in five lots by Chesterton Humberts for £1.029m against an £880,000 guide price recently. This sale was lotted to put almost 23.5ha (58 acres) with the four-bedroom house needing renovation and which sold for £860,000.

“This highlights the demand for private residential holdings that offer privacy and high amenity. Buyers are not concerned about having to undertake works if the location is right,” said David Hebditch, head of the firm’s rural division.

The remaining land lots varied in size from just over two acres to almost seven acres and made between £6,570 and £16,144/acre.

At the same sale, 20.6ha (51 acres) of land at Hemyock in Devon made £320,000. This was an average of £6,275/acre for land including just over 30 acres of level pasture and 20 acres of amenity woodland and scrub. (Chesterton Humberts 01823 331 234)

D R Kivell & Partners also recently chose the auction route for two Dartmoor farms.

Urgles Farm at Goodameavy, near Plymouth, sold in three lots. The first of these was a four-bedroom farmhouse, also needing complete renovation, with a traditional barn and nine acres of land, which made £440,000. Almost 13 acres of grassland with direct access to a common made £105,000 (£8,241/acre) while a further 13.6 acres sold for £95,000 (£6,965/acre).

Nattor Farm at Sheepstor, near Yelverton, also had a farmhouse for modernisation with 9.4 acres, a range of barns and outbuildings and made £400,000. Almost 52 acres of further land typical of this moorland area sold for £370,000 (£7,177/acre). (D R Kivell & Partners 01822 810 810)