THE FIRST OF an autumn clutch of investment farms is under offer in three lots.
Middle Drove Farm, with a five-bedroom house (offered with vacant possession but needing modernisation) and about 275 mainly tenanted acres at Denver, a few miles from Downham Market in Norfolk, attracted “huge” interest, according to Christopher Miles of selling agent FPDSavills. “We were inundated with enquiries.”
The £680,000 guide price for the whole may have looked good value and has been exceeded. The house was valued separately at £290,000.
A bungalow, also needing renovation, with buildings and 239 acres of mainly deep fen peat soil were let under three separate Agricultural Holdings Act tenancies producing a total annual income of £11,600, and had a guide price of £310,000. The remaining 30 acres of arable land, with vacant possession, were priced at £75,000.
The property is being sold by British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL), which inherited it in a merger with Magnox Electric. Decades ago there were plans to build a power station there; it is now one of two properties offered (the other is in Wales) as surplus to requirements.
“Investors are now mainly property speculators and individuals looking to make a return through reversionary potential, rather than through the yield criteria used by more traditional agricultural investors,” Mr Miles said.
Less surprisingly, a second investment property, given its location only 15 miles from central London, is also drawing strong interest. Fairchildes Farm, with 294 acres of arable, grass and woodland in an unexpectedly rural hamlet outside Croydon, is offered on a 999-year lease.
It is let under the Agricultural Holdings Act for 15,500 per annum, last reviewed in 1998, and with two successions to run.
A large, traditional farmhouse with five bedrooms, two occupied cottages and extensive stabling are included in the deal. The tenant also operates a clay pigeon shoot and model aircraft flying club there.
If the farm to be sold with vacant possession, it would be worth twice its current guide price of 1.25m, according to joint agents Strutt & Parker and DTZ. Best-and-final offers are sought by Dec 9.