9 November 2001

Council unit fails to reach guide – economy blamed

A BUCKS County Council unit struggled to sell at auction last week, prompting fears that concerns over the economy maybe starting to impact on the farmland market.

Dean Tithe Farm, a 253-acre mixed unit, near Stewkley, was guided at £825,000, but only managed to achieve £750,000 despite plenty of hard work by Bruton Knowles auctioneer Matthew Peters. The buyer was a local farmer.

"There seems to be a bit of caution and general unease at the moment," said Mr Peters. "A lot of jobs are going in the city and bonuses are likely to be reduced which is a cause for concern."

Demand for small blocks of land was also mixed. At the same sale, an 11-acre parcel of land at nearby Steeple Claydon went to a non-farming buyer for £38,000 (£3400/acre). A further 83 acres were purchased after the sale, but 29 acres remained unsold.

North Yorks County Council had a more successful result when Mouchel auctioneer Andrew Purkiss put two blocks of arable land under the hammer. Two neighbouring farmers fought over 13-acres of IACS-registered land at Upper Dunsforth, Boroughbridge, and pushed the price to £42,000 (£3289/acre).

A local producer was also in the running for 24 acres near Minskip, but was eventually outbid by a London-based public company which paid £79,000 (£3333/acre).

Mr Purkiss reckons the firm could have been interested in the long-term hope value of the land. &#42