6 September 2002

Farmers want to get away, too

A RECENT and much-publicised survey reported that over 50% of the population would like to move abroad and, according to one property analyst, farmers are no exception in wanting to search out pastures new.

"Weve noticed more farm sales are following on from a decision to move abroad," says Jim Ward, head of research at national agent FPDSavills, who adds the evidence is not just confined to the properties on the firms own books. "It goes beyond that."

Mr Ward believes there are three factors contributing to the trend. "The low level of profitability of farming here is the obvious reason." The strength of the £ and the value of residential property here also mean farmers can get much more for their money outside the UK, he adds.

As long as these factors remain in place the researcher sees no reason why the trend shouldnt continue. "Restructuring within agriculture is continuing and moving abroad could be part of that process." &#42

No statistics are available as to where farmers are moving, but the evidence from the farm sales featured on this page seems to suggest that New Zealand is the preferred destination. A lack of red tape, less urban sprawl and the countrys magnificent scenery seem to be the major attractions.