Farmland market shrugs off depression

FARMLAND AVAILABILITY has risen for the first time in three years, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The organisation’s latest quarterly survey of rural members for April to June showed over half had seen more commercial farmland come to the market over the past year.

Only 18% experienced less, while almost 40% reported more residential farms.

Some agents said this could increase the pressure on farm values, which slipped for the second quarter running, from £9713/ha (£3930/acre) to £9530/ha (£3784/acre).

But they were still well up on the same period a year ago when the average farm was worth £8694/ha (£3518/acre).

But Mr Khatri said the rise in land availability needed to be put in context.

“This is a turnaround, but it doesn’t mean the floodgates have opened. It has been falling for so long it is going to take at least a year for the market to get back to normal levels.”

Bareland prices have also continued to rise, up 14% on the year to a record £7941/ha (£3214/acre).

But most surveyors questioned said this would not continue, predicting that farm values would fall over the next 12 months.

RICS rural spokesman Julian Sayers said: “The greater availability of land indicates a period of increased market activity in the year ahead.

“However, the wider economic slowdown and subdued housing market will temper demand.”


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