Large farm sales in 2012 mapped out

Smiths Gore land agents have analysed the sales of large British farms in 2012 with some interesting results.

The analysis concentrates on all publicly marketed farms of more than 500 acres with useable farm buildings and residential property (or properties).

James Beedell of Smiths Gore explains the findings.


Of 337 equipped farms marketed in Great Britain last year only 45 were larger than 500 acres. Of these, only nine were arable holdings.

The number of farms marketed was probably lower than most would have expected.

The small number of purely arable units means that 80% of all commercial farms larger than 500 acres and marketed in 2012 had some livestock in their enterprise mix.

Around half of the farms sold were classed as mixed farms although this is not mirrored in the results for equipped farm sales of all sizes, where mixed farms account for only 18% of sales.

See the map below for the results by region.

The map shows the distribution of farms larger than 500 acres marketed in terms of regions and values, determined by guide prices.

large farm sales map 2012


Land sales so far in 2013, much like the weather, feel as if they are taking a while to warm up. Despite a couple of strong sales there have not been enough transactions to show any trends.

We think that the volume of land sales is likely to be similar to last year – historically low but that should translate into good sale results for those who take the plunge.

Our farmland model is predicting an average price rise of 7% this year but there are already signs that for “secondary” land (such as land with any issues, such as poor buildings, location or earning capacity) values will not increase as much.

We also expect bare land prices to increase faster than equipped land, as they have done for the past few years.

Sale strategies need to include careful guide price setting and judicious lotting where appropriate.

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