Prime arable farmland across the West Midlands has attracted a wide range of prices, with a £5,000/acre difference between the top and the bottom of the market.
Land is also moving quickly with nearly 80% of the 11,125 acres launched in 2017 either selling or going under offer.
Environment secretary Michael Gove’s announcement support payments will continue in the short term has firmed up the market with confidence from buyers and sellers building, backed up by pockets of rollover cash heading into the region.
A sale has recently been agreed by Barbers Rural for Studley Farm at Market Drayton, Shropshire, which is a converted dairy farm with 205 acres in maize, combinable crops and potatoes.
Its commercial proposition and traditional buildings, which offer diversification potential, sparked buyers’ interest in the £2.7m unit.
What’s on the market?
A 431-acre ring fenced block of Grade 2 and Grade 3 land at Hilltop in Rochford near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire has just been launched by Carter Jonas.
It has been in cereals, oilseeds, legumes and potatoes, and about 39 acres is in mature amenity woodland. It has a £4m guide price.
Rolling off the back of the Brexit vote, there was great uncertainty at the start of the year, especially in the livestock sectors where dairy farmers had taken a real pounding. Despite this, the land market held up remarkably well.
The best arable land sold as well as ever, and some pasture land sold very well, but other parcels were harder to move in line with owners’ expectations.
However, everything that we had on offer for sale found a new home by the end of the year.
Supply remains at historically low levels as it has done over the past five years but the availability of funds from outside agriculture, especially rollover money, meant that there is always someone prepared to buy.
Mike Taylor, senior partner, Barbers Rural
With recent government announcements regarding the direction of travel for domestic agricultural policy, supply is likely to tighten as owners look to retain land.
The polarisation we have seen in recent years, both in terms of interest and prices achieved, will remain evident even in a time of tight supply.
The market continues to be driven by farmer buyers, some with the assistance of rollover money.
We are situated in an area where the supply of land is generally limited and strong agricultural businesses are plentiful, which means when good quality and easily accessible land is offered for sale there is strong demand, resulting in above average prices being paid.
Charlotte Rogerson, surveyor, Berrys