Higher prices have brought a rush of land on to a market starved of acres. After a slow start to 2011, last week saw the acreage for sale monitored by Farmers Weekly’s Land Tracker jump dramatically.


The FW Land Tracker records farmland advertised in Farmers Weekly each week and compares it with the same date last year. In the week ending 8 April, more than 2,671ha (6,600 acres) was advertised, which is more than double the acreage on the market a year ago.

To date in 2011, more than 22,600 acres have been advertised compared with almost 18,000 acres to the same date last year. This represents a 27% increase and is the highest acreage at this stage in the year since 2008, when the figure was almost 26,000 acres.

A mixture of whole farms and bare land has come on to the market at a time when agents have ever growing lists of buyers with many millions of pounds to spend on farmland.

While the heat has come out of the market for country houses with land, commercial arable farmland is what most investors are looking for, whether they are expanding and established farm businesses or newcomers to farmland investment.

In contrast to recent years when farmland has been bought mainly for its potential to grow in value alongside its tax sheltering capacity, many of those new investors are now also investing in arable land because of its perceived earning capacity.

 

Acreage advertised

Cumulative acreage

 

in first week of April

advertised for year

Year

   

2011

6641

22,627

2010

2661

17,795

2009

1510

20,359

2008

4426

25,962

2007

1196

12,846