19 January 2001

…Yorkshire scene is quite a lively one as well

THE Yorkshire market also seems to be livening up. One farm comes up for auction later this month and another is due for imminent release.

Bainton Balk Farm near Driffield, guided at £1.2m, goes under the hammer with Frank Hill and Son on January 25th. According to managing partner Ralph Ward the 337-acre farm is considered one of the best in the East Ridings. About 335 acres are IACS-registered and the deep-bodied and free-draining grade 2 soil should ensure plenty of interest from commercial farmers. He says there could also be some residential interest but admits the farm is slightly off the beaten track.

Farms in this region are often sold by private treaty, prompting one observer to speculate the market could be weakening if an auction is necessary. However, Mr Ward thinks the opposite. "Some agents prefer to sell to their private clients but we feel an auction is a sign of strength," he says. "There has been a lot of interest from local farmers," he adds.

In North Yorkshire, Northallerton Estate Agency is bringing Crosby Manor Farm on to the market. Selling agent, Robin Jessop, says the area is popular with businessmen commuting to Teesside and York and the 169-acre farm will be lotted to attract such buyers. "We want to aim the property at as wide a market as possible," says Mr Jessop. Crosby Manor is available for in the region of £650,000.

He says that 2000 was the quietest year he could remember for some time, but expects a steady trickle of farms to come on to the market this year. "I think farmers considering selling thought they would get a poor price because of low commodity prices. Maybe this will change as grain and sheep prices improve."