Land prices in England have increased by more than 15% in the past year as the amount of farmland coming onto the market continues to fall.

The total area of farmland put up for sale in England in the second quarter of July fell by 14% compared with last year, according to property agents Strutt and Parker.

About 19,830 ha (50,000 acres) entered the market between April and June, taking the total for the year to just 23,067 ha (57,000 acres), a drop of 16% on the same period last year.

The figures, taken from Strutt and Parker’s Farmland Database, revealed most of the land for sale was in central England.

Sales of farmland in Lincolnshire showed most strength, with 7689 ha (19,000 acres) coming onto the market, compared with 4856 ha (12000 acres) over the same three months last year.

Despite the fall in the amount of land available, the number of buyers remained the same, pushing up values by more than 15% over the past year, Strutt and Parker said.

The market had been further strengthened by growing optimism in the arable sector, making farmers “more serious buyers,” it added.

Mark McAndrew, Strutt and Parker’s head of estates and farm agency, said he expected farmland values to remain bullish over the coming months.

“The volume of land coming onto the market will remain low while the demand for it is as strong as ever.

“Anyone even contemplating a sale will find this as good a time as any to put their land on the market.”