29 September 1995

Two contrasting estates offered, north & south

By Louise Rose

WITH many investors continuing to capitalise on the current buoyancy of farmland prices, two very different investment units are coming on to the autumn market.

In north Humberside between Beverley and Hull, Sun Alliance, after nearly 20 years of ownership, are disposing of the 2666-acre Risby Estate, bought in 1976 from the Filmer Wilson family.

Brian Baybut, assistant director of Sun Alliance Group Properties, says: "As the balance of our property investments continues to change, Risby is now too small in capital value terms to meet the new profile of our portfolio."

Split in seven

Guided at £3.25m, the estate includes mainly grade 2 arable land, split into seven well equipped let farms and a 102.89 acre vacant unit.

Generating an annual income of £129,579, the tenanted units include the 144.95 acre Butt Farm, Bentley – the only dairy unit, and Manor, Model and Jillywood Farms, Bentley, totalling 553.64 acres.

"Across the estate the average vacant possession value of the bare land would be around £2500/acre with the better quality land nearer £3000/acre," says Martin Herbert, managing agent with Brown & Co who are handling the sale.

With the farm rents averaging around £48-54/acre, Mr Herbert says there is scope for rental growth, with the next rent review due in April 1997.

There are also 174 acres of commercial mixed woodland on the estate and the sporting rights are currently let to the tenants with the leases expiring in February 1998.

Being near to some large towns, both leisure and development opportunities have been identified, with the local authority proving sympathetic in discussion to the establishment of a golf-based leisure scheme at the west end of the estate centred around the largest woodland.

Also, Avington Manor Farm, north-east of Winchester, Hants, a 1131.54-acre dairy and arable investment farm is being marketed by Strutt & Parker on behalf of NPI.

Offers in the region of £1.4m are invited for the farm which is let on a full repairing and insuring tenancy, for £47,500 per annum, due for review at Michaelmas next year.

In a single block the farmland includes 982 acres of grade 3 arable land with a current cropping rotation of cereals, maize, grass leys and set-aside. With vacant possession, this land is worth between £2000-2500/acre says Strutt & Parker agent, Giles Allen.

On a rolling average, the milking herd is 280 cows with 1,717,824 litres of milk quota registered. There is a range of modern dairy buildings including cubicles for 140 cows and about 700t of grain storage.

Also included are five dwellings mainly occupied by service occupants, and 114.89 acres of mature hardwood and younger mixed plantations managed by the tenants for sporting and amenity purposes.

Currently producing a rent of £47,500pa there is an opportunity for rental growth next year at Avington Manor Farm in Hampshire.