Land availability across the Britain has dropped by more than a quarter, according to provisional figures from property firm Savills.

Almost 8498 ha (21,000 acres) of land was marketed publicly across the country during the first three months of 2006.

So far this year, only 6070 ha (15,000 acres) have been launched:

   2006  2007 Change (%) 
 England  15,770  12,437 -21
 Scotland  4313 2311 -46
 Wales  912 467 -49

In England the most pronounced drop was in the south west, where only 802 ha (1981 acres) were advertised, compared with 1512 ha (3737 acres) in the same period last year.

Savills’ Jess Simpson said: “The large number of buyers in the market, the recent increase in values and farms achieving an average 13% over guide price means that a number of landowners are considering their options.

“European investment has underpinned an already strong market for commercial farms over 100 acres resulting in as much as £5000/acre being achieved for bare agricultural land,” she added.