The Warwickshire land market appears to be red hot at the moment with farms selling for way over expectations and agents setting ever stronger guide prices.
Lowdown Farm at Bishops Tachbrook, near Leamington Spa, is the latest farm to be launched and Robert Morton of selling agent Godfrey Payton admitted he had set the bar high by guiding the 650-acre arable unit, which comes with a modern four-bed house, at almost £5.5m.
“It is a strong price but we think it’s a strong market,” he said. Warwickshire arable land was now worth about 25% more than a year ago, he reckoned. “It’s making about £4000-£5000/acre now.”
Despite the price, which puts Lowdown’s bare land at about £8500/acre with some long-term development potential, Mr Morton said there had been a lot of interest from farmers. “There has been a real dearth of farms for sale.”
He said the farm was being sold to fund a move to another part of the UK, possibly East Anglia, where land was cheaper.
Tim Howard of Howkins & Harrison said buyers were attracted by Warwickshire’s transport links. Mr Howard has just launched 158-acre Vicarage Farm at Church Lawford, near Rugby, for £1.5m, and said there had already been keen interest from a wide range of buyers.
A cattery generating more than £40,000 a year has been run on the farm, which has a four-bed house, and the business is available by separate negotiation. There is also a large irrigation reservoir stocked with fish.
Mr Howard has lotted the farm and said local potato farmers would be interested in the Grade 2 land with a residential buyer taking on the house and buildings.
Knight Frank’s Claire Duthie, who has launched two commercial farms in the county this year, confirmed that buyers were paying top prices.
She said that 631-acre Sherbourne Farm, three miles from Warwick, was under offer as a whole for significantly over its £3.5m guide price. “We did 50 viewings, mainly to farmers, and there was an incredible amount of interest from the Irish.”
Tree House Farm, a 190-acre dairy unit with a robotic parlour, near Stratford-upon-Avon, had sold to an Irish buyer for over its £1.8m guide, said Miss Duthie. “The Irish seem to like Warwickshire, I think the scenery is similar to at home.”