NOVEMBER HAS already been busy for auctioneers, with a number of properties going under the hammer in the first week of the month.

In the south-west three firms achieved good prices for land and farms on Nov 3. In Cornwall, Simon Alford of KVNStockdale averaged 3000/acre for 92 acres of land at Carneadon Farm, St Thomas, near Launceston. A two-bedroom bungalow was withdrawn.

Bodmin Moor Farmers, one of the county’s largest farmers, paid £147,000 for 50 acres with a local farmer bidding £131,000 for 42 acres. Mr Alford said the lack of availability in the area accounted for the strong prices. “There is no shortage of bidders.”

Stags’ Alex Rew also had a good result when he sold 18 acres of grass with no historic single farm payment at Rackenford in mid-Devon to a farmer for £68,000.

A 90-acre arable parcel at Whimple, near Exeter, was sold earlier for £3422/acre. Two neighbouring farmer picked up the majority of the land with a worm farmer buying almost three acres for £22,500.

Mr Rew said auctioning land even this late in the year made sense because it gave purchasers plenty of time to register the land before claiming the first tranche of the SFP by May 15 next year, as well as satisfying the 10-month rule.

He said he was planning to auction a further 60 acres of arable land at Cheriton Fitzpaine, near Crediton, before Christmas. The guide will be £125,000-£150,000.

Wigford Farm at Loddiswell, near Kingsbridge, south Devon, was sold by Luscombe Maye for £878,500 in seven lots, mostly to non-farmers. The five-bedroom farmhouse in need of modernisation made £480,000 with 33 acres, while a stone barn with consent for stabling and 17 acres went for £142,000.

Local farmers did buy the two largest lots of land, said the firm’s Stuart Hext. Almost 40 acres fetched £82,000 (£2050/acre), with 46 acres selling for £85,000 (£1847/acre). Amenity buyers paid substantially more for three smaller lots.

A day later, Halls and McCartneys sold 36 acres of grazing land on the Shrops/Welsh border at Chapel Lawn, near Bucknell, for £205,000 (£5694/acre). Despite the high price, farmers bought three of the five lots, said Halls’ managing director Peter Willcock. “In such an upland area farmers always covet valley bottom land.”

Illustrating his point, about 58 acres of steeper land failed to reach its £100,000 reserve.

Frank R Marshall & Co will be auctioning 114 acres of grass at Arclid and Brereton, near Sandbach, Cheshire, on Nov 17. The land is split into three parcels of 15.5 acres, 33.5 acres and 65 acres, and the guide is £2500-£3500/acre.