Herefordshire probably includes some of the most diverse farming activities in the UK.
As well as traditional farming enterprises, such as livestock and hops, there has been a huge expansion in recent years of crops like potatoes, vegetables and soft fruit, including extensive strawberry production.
Land values have always been relatively strong in the county, which is situated between the Cotswolds and Wales.
Over the past years very few farms have been available to buy and, therefore, it has been difficult to accurately assess the state of the farmland market.
Local and national interest
But things have changed considerably in 2007 and we have already marketed six farms between 60 and 280 acres in the first four months of the year, all of which attracted considerable interest locally and nationally.
The first farm to be marketed was Hill Farm, Llancloudy, near Hereford. Sale of the 246-acre residential and commercial farm was achieved within two days of coming to the market. Contracts have been exchanged with a London purchaser at an undisclosed figure. The price guide for the property was £2m.
Trecorras Farm, Llangarron, Ross-on-Wye is a 275-acre commercial farm that again was sold subject to contract within days of coming onto the market. The price guide for this farm was £1.4m.
Offers have already been submitted for the other farms which are being marketed at present, which demonstrate the huge demand for agricultural properties in the area.
Lack of supply
One of the main reasons that farms are so dear in the area is the general lack of supply.
There are numerous traditional estates in Herefordshire including a large estate owned by the Duchy of Cornwall. Farms from these estates are seldom, if ever, offered on the open market.
Over the past five years we have seen a large change in the type of purchasers in our area. Historically farmers were the most common purchaser of properties in the area but this has now considerably changed.
The accessibility of the area to Cardiff, Bristol and Birmingham has resulted in several farms being sold to non-farmers seeking a rural home.
Increasing farming area
While this is, on the one hand, bad news for local farmers, they are often given the chance to rent additional land which is resulting in farmers generally increasing their farming area.
The market for bare land in the county remains very strong. Small parcels regularly sell between £5000 and £1500/acre with larger blocks often realising over £4000/acre.
The outlook for agricultural values therefore looks relatively strong for Herefordshire and the border counties.
By Richard Williams, agent at RG & RB Williams, can be contacted on 01989 567233.
Farm land for sale Herefordshire.