Tenanted property offers 950 acres of Grade 1 land

Carter Jonas is about to launch the largest publicly marketed tenanted agricultural property to hit the market this year.

Keyworth House Farm at Benwick, Cambs, 13 miles from Peterborough, runs to 950 acres and is marginally bigger than the Briggens Estate in Herts, which was launched by Cluttons in late September.

However, agent Philip Cowen, who is handling the sale for a private property investment trust, said this was a different type of sale.

“This is an agricultural investment – there is no development spin.”

Despite this, Mr Cowen said private and institutional investors looking for a relatively risk-free income would be interested.

He has guided the farm, which includes a three-bedroom manager’s house and three other dwellings, at 2m. Based on an annual rent of 67,803, this gives a return on investment of 3.4%.

The farm has been let under an Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy since 1965 and Mr Cowen said there had been no succession yet.

“I think getting vacant possession could be some way off, but I don’t think you necessarily need it in the short term to make the figures stack up.”

All the land is Grade 1 and supports potatoes, sugar beet and combinable crops, but Mr Cowen said potatoes were the key crop, with 1900t of refrigerated storage capacity.

“It is very good land,” he added.

This lack of dependency on sugar beet added to the future rental income stability, suggested Mr Cowen.

If reform of the sugar regime led to significantly reduced income on tenanted holdings, it could possibly be used as a factor during renting reviews, he said.

“The next opportunity for a rent review here would be 11 October, 2007.”

Mr Cowen said the vendor was reorganising its property portfolio and would sell only if it obtained the right price.

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