6 December 1996

Harvest hopes a fillip in Aberdeen

PROSPECTS of a bumper harvest boosted buying confidence in farmland market prices in Aberdeenshire during August.

And the Irish buyers often outbid the local interest paying premiums of 10-15% with good arable land averaging £2000/acre.

"With land in Ireland fetching up to £6000/acre, these buyers can afford that little extra," says John Rhind of Aberdeen & Norther. "And the Irish buyers who have been farming in the south-west of Scotland often have had milk quota to sell too."

Also in the past few weeks he has been asked to sell a few farms privately for clients who dont want to go through the complete marketing campaign this late in the year. And despite the recognised pressures on farm incomes from input costs which could encourage a few sales in 1997, the market is unlikely to weaken, although price increases might just be in line with inflation.

"Annually the local market becomes stronger with about 50% of farmers now financially secure and any surplus profits reinvested in land," said Mr Rhind.