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

Sustained confidence in the livestock and dairy sector resulted in strong demand for all parcels of land, with commercial farmers frustrated by this year’s appalling weather keen to grab those extra acres.

As predicted last year, few quality-sized farming units came on to the market, but those that did met a ready demand and sold at prices probably 10-15% higher than a year ago. Local buyers accounted for virtually 100% of land sales.

Sales of two neighbouring dairy units in mid-Pembrokeshire, both without a residential house, fetched just over £7,000/acre.

Bare parcels of good land range from £6,500 to £7,500/acre, with £7,000 now considered the norm. Some exceptional sales of small parcels are fetching considerably more.

2013 outlook – main market influences

Demand will continue to be strong, with both commercial farmers and lifestyle buyers/investors looking for that “safe haven”.

2013 outlook – what will happen to prices?

Demand will once again outstrip supply and land prices will continue to rise, probably by another 10%.

How much land will come on the market in 2013?

Volume again will be tight. The exodus of young farmers from the industry has ceased and many ambitious, well-educated young farmers are keen to expand their family farms.

Easiest farm to sell in 2013?

All land will sell, but quality land is of prime importance, especially for expansion, where a house is seen as a secondary consideration.

Most challenging farm to sell in 2012?

Poor productive capacity land will restrict buyers as the cost of land improvement is expensive. However, all land, if priced accordingly, will attract ready buyers.