Land market rockets as farmer optimism grows

Land prices are rising faster than ever and have hit an all-time high, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

The organisation’s latest rural land market survey released today (23 Feb) shows that values increased 18% during the second half of 2006, compared with the same period in 2005.

Those buying arable land paid £8451/ha (£3420/acre), while those wanting more pastureland had to find £7878/ha (£3188/acre).

Demand for farmland had been pushed up by record City bonuses, but farmers were now also competing more actively for the few properties available, said RICS.

Spokeswoman Sue Steer said: “High commodity prices have resulted in a huge increase in demand as farmers compete with non-farming money for land.

“However, availability of land has slipped back as strong commodity prices have led to a sense of renewed optimism in agriculture and reduced the financial pressures on farmers to sell, despite rising interest rates,” she added.