The apparent increase in land availability nationally, put at an extra 45% in the nine months to the end of September compared with the same period last year, has not been so strong in the south west.

Savills data suggests that land availability in Cornwall is, at 3072 acres, 31% lower than last year. But the figure is distorted by the marketing of a big estate, Trewartenwick, last year, which boosted 2003’s figure of 1800 acres.

The indications are that Cornwall, in general, is making the biggest inroads into availability levels, as 2002 and 2001 levels were also low post-foot-and-mouth, at 2248 acres and 2062 acres, respectively.

In Devon, the 7162 acres advertised during this period is 2.3% less than last year’s January-September period, and down on the 7868 acres offered in 2003.

Somerset (excluding the north, or Avon) is nearly on par with last year, offering 3803 acres.

Local opinion suggests there is not much more coming to the market this year, and prices achieved are exceeding guides.