18 January 2002

Early stirring in Yorkshire

By Andrew Shirley

AGENTS are predicting a quiet start to the 2002 land market, but in Yorkshire two fresh offerings are already available to buyers with around £1.5m to spend on a New Years purchase.

At Yearsley, 15 miles north of York, Carter Jonas is selling Intake Lodge, a 201-acre mixed unit that comes with a refurbished five-bedroomed Georgian farmhouse and 32,000sq ft of livestock buildings.

Selling agent Andrew Fallows is guiding the farm at £1.5m, and says he is not looking to divide it into lots as it would be difficult to split the buildings from the house. Just over 110 acres of the land is IACS-registered Grade 3 arable, pasture accounts for 53 acres while 33 acres of woodland makes up the balance.

Mr Fallows feels the property could appeal to a wealthy buyer from Leeds. "A lot of people see Leeds as the second city after London, it is buzzing at the moment and is definitely starting to have an influence on residential farm values in the area."

He says Intake is scenically located near the Howardian Hills, which some have described as the Cotswolds of Yorkshire, and has good views back towards York. Part of the farm is also zoned as an SSSI.

Meanwhile, in East Yorkshire local firms Frank Hill & Son and Michael Glover LLP have just launched Red House and Brooks Farms at Weeton, near Patrington, and unlike Carter Jonass offering the sale is significantly lotted.

Split seven ways, the 390-acre holding is on the market due to a reorganisation of the Gray family business and features three residential lots and four blocks of bare arable land.

All of the houses have four bedrooms and vary in price from £350,000 for Westfield House, which includes an extensive range of buildings, a menage, and 5 acres of pasture, to £180-200,000 for Brooks Farm and Redhouse Farm, both of which come with around 10 acres of grass paddocks.

The arable land is guided at £2500/acre for three parcels of Grade 2 soil extending to 28 acres, 84 acres and 117 acres. A larger 133-acre plot of Grade 3 land is pegged slightly lower at £2000/acre.

Sole practitioner Michael Glover reckons the structure of the disposal should encourage a wide range of interest, with the houses appealing to non-farming or equestrian purchasers and the land attracting local producers. But he doesnt rule out the farm going as a whole to a farmer, perhaps with rollover funds to invest.

Andrew Black, at FPDSavills York office, says the firm has a number of properties in the pipeline but advises anybody thinking of selling to do so before the budget in March. "Although the Chancellor has given no specific indication he will increase stamp duty this year why take the risk?"

Last year land supply was down 52% in the region (see graph), and Mr Black reckons if this trend continues the market could suffer. "We need more acres. The market has got so small there are very few opportunities for restructuring a business." &#42

Intake Lodge…an early tester of the Yorks residential land market.