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 farm market in Scotland has been a mixed bag in 2012. We have sold parcels of land from Arran to Inverness, with a variety of outcomes. Units marketed range from small areas of bare land to fully equipped farms. Values very much depend on location, with arable land sales ranging from £3,500-9,000/acre. Value very much depends on the local dynamic, with areas of intense competition as well as areas of little or no interest.

  • Demand mainly from farming community
  • Clear signs of lenders being more particular
  • Bare land demand outstripping demand for equipped units
Sale highlight of the year (pictured above)
 Our best sale based on pounds an acre was a 75-acre block of land in Angus at Dummiesholes, Carmyllie. Sixty-five acres were Grade 3 (1) arable, with the remaining 10 acres woodland. The land was in two parcels, separated by a public road, with an asking price of £440,000. It sold relatively quickly for more than £500,000, or more than £9,000/acre for the arable land.

2013 outlook – main market influences

  • Availability of finance
  • Quantity and quality of land marketed
  • Arable sector driven by finances following 2012 harvest accounts
  • Woodland sector likely to see less competition for at least six months, with Forestry Commission Scotland out of the market place.

2013 outlook – what will happen to prices?

I don’t believe that the land price will move very much in Scotland during 2013, but fully expect localised trends to continue.

How much land will come on the market in 2013?

I anticipate roughly the same amount of land on the market in 2013, with some new blood as farmers feel the pinch from the 2012 harvest and cash in, and a good few that did not sell in 2012.

Easiest farm to sell in 2013?

Good-quality arable farms with good access to local infrastructure will continue to be the easiest to move on. Purchasers want Grade 2/3 land, free draining and able to cope with the wet summers we have experienced over the past two harvests.

While bare land has been the easiest to find buyers for, good-quality, modern farm buildings remain attractive.

Most difficult farm to sell in 2013?

Farms that are overequipped with poor-quality farmhouses, cottages and farm buildings will remain difficult to sell. Poor access to any part of a farm can be offputting – for example, bridges with narrow road widths, low weight restrictions or poor access to buildings.