Where will land prices go in 2013? We ask agents around the country to sum up the market in 2012 and to set out what will influence buyers, sellers and prices next year.

2012 market – key features

The East Midlands market found a new range of gears in 2012, with Lincolnshire leading the way in capital appreciation of farmland. Good, productive combinable cropping and sugar beet land is still the most sought after, comfortably achieving about £10,000/acre, while the very best silt land values have broken the £15,000/acre mark.

The region has had more than its fair share of land traded both publicly and privately this year.

  • Cereal land – in excess of £7,000/acre
  • Cereal and sugar beet land – in the region of £9,000-10,000/acre
Sale highlight of the year (pictured above) 

Dairy House Farm, Midville, Boston and Skirmore Farm, Friskney, Lincolnshire were marketed as a combined acreage of 750 acres. This epitomises the type of farm most in demand – a straightforward but highly productive Grade 1 and 2 tranche of farmland. Farmers and non-farmers competed and the result was evidence that the market had moved upwards once again. 

2013 outlook – main market influences

  • Non-farmer investor buyers a big influence – for bigger blocks it’s likely their influence will continue, especially in view of returns from rents
  • Farmer attitudes will be interesting – cashflows are under pressure, but there are plenty of powerful bidders among them

2013 outlook – what will happen to prices?

There is no reason why they should wane in 2013 – I suspect we will continue to see increases across the board, possibly of a more marginal nature.

How much land will come on the market in 2013?

There are no rumours of significant tracts of land being lined up, but this is not unusual. I believe there will be more smaller parcels offered, especially by non-farmers who inherited some time ago and have never really considered its true value until now. Possibly smaller offerings by farmers looking to ease cashflow difficulties. Larger offerings may come from non-farming investors taking profits.

Easiest farm to sell in 2013?

Medium to large commercial arable units, Grade 1 or 2, with no houses or very modest residential element in a commercial farming area such as Lincolnshire.

Most difficult farm to sell in 2013?

Farms and estates with a large residential element – buyers remain very thin in this region and are becoming more particular and fussy about issues such as pylons and roads.