A significant amount of farmland is continuing to trade privately in some parts of the country, despite the apparent strength of the open market, say agents.

Andrew Pearce of Humberts said there were still some deals for bigger acreages going on “behind the scenes”, particularly in the past couple of months where supply to the open market appeared to be tightening. “A lot of it is purchaser-driven, where agents are approaching people who bought land in recent years and might consider selling if a profit is evident.” In some parts of the country up to 20% of acres were trading privately, he added.

East Stoke Estate generic

But in the eastern counties, Bidwells’ Jim Bryant said the private market was less for complete farms and more for smaller parcels of land, particularly where deals could be struck between neighbours. “There have been some instances where people have offered some larger farms privately and now come to the open market, and I think there could be more of those to come.

“Some people have tried to test thewater by marketing land and farms privately to see if they can achieve a premium price, but they tend to be properties with more of a residential element than commercial farms.”

With the strength of the open market at present, there was a good case to make for marketing farms publicly, he added.

Private sales are popular despite a strong open market.