Land values are moving up sharply in the north east of Scotland, where a flush of farms has recently come on to the market.

“We have seen more farms for sale in the north east than at any time during the past five years,” said John Rhind of Aberdeen & Northern.

“The improved price of land has in part driven the number of farms coming on to the market, but there has also been a catch-up effect after a period during 2004/05 where there was virtually no land changing hands.”

Uncertainty about the new single farm payment structure had been the main factor influencing the trend in farm sales, and farmers in the north east proved particularly reluctant to sell during the transition phase, said Mr Rhind.

This could be explained by the fact that the residential value of farm property was less influential on farm prices in that part of Scotland, he reckoned.

The first six months of the year have seen 10 mixed livestock farms of over 200 acres come on the market and prices for good land have firmed in the past year from £1500-£1600/acre in 2005 to £1800-£2000/acre in 2006.

Mr Rhind’s latest offering is 215-acre Upper Tullochbeg, which will come on to the market in the next couple of weeks.

The mixed upland farm near Huntly, 40 miles north west of Aberdeen towards Inverness, includes a four-bedroom house and is priced at offers over £520,000.

A 580-acre livestock unit in west Aberdeenshire is also due to hit the market soon, added Mr Rhind.