A diverse range of property launched by agent Smiths Gore towards the end of 2006 has attracted a huge amount of interest, says the firm.

Low Sober Farm near Northallerton, North Yorkshire, was launched in November with a £1.75m guide price and York-based Sam Tydeman said it had taken only six weeks to wrap up the sale.

Mr Tydeman said much of the interest in the 235-acre farm, which included a Grade II listed six-bedroom house, had come from farmers.

“It sold for significantly in excess of the guide. I think it was the combination of a decent house in a nice location and some very good quality farmland. We were expecting a good level of interest, but were surprised by quite how much there was. We had about eight offers at the guide or above and about 70% of those had a farming interest.”

The successful buyer was a businessman with farming interests.

On a larger scale, the 2350-acre Middleton Hall Estate at Belford, Northumberland, looks set to sell for well over its £8m guide after 500 sets of particulars were sent out.

Andrew Turner, who is handling the sale of the estate, which comes with 30 houses, said he was hoping to complete a deal soon, but would not confirm who the potential buyer was or how much he was likely to pay. However, it is believed a number of the underbidders offered over the asking price.

Distance was no bar to demand either, with a 1760-acre Australian livestock unit in New South Wales, launched just before Christmas for about £1.6m, also generating more enquiries than expected.

“We were quite surprised by the number of people who contacted us after Manbulloo was mentioned in Farmers Weekly,” said Mr Tydeman. “After that we decided to advertise and we are still getting phone calls. People with friends in Australia have already got them to have a look.”

Most of the interest was from farming families looking to completely relocate or buy something for their children to farm, said Mr Tydeman. “It was near a town and had good rainfall, which helped.”

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