Strong auction prices in the north of England are being reported with two farms recently going under the hammer for £4m.
Moorhouse Hall Farm, a 146-acre productive dairy farm near Wigton with a six-bedroom traditional farmhouse, a bungalow, and assorted agricultural buildings, sold for £2.5m.
Sunnycroft, a 96-acre livestock farm also located near Wigton, was bought for £1.5m.
Both were sold at a H&H Land & Estates’ land and property auction at Borderway Mart in Carlisle.
Thomas Armstrong, a director and chartered surveyor at the company, said there was high demand with fierce competition, both from local buyers and further afield.
Farms and land are selling for prices significantly above their guide price, he added.
“Public auctions have been missed and this is demonstrated not only by the results, but by attendance, and the volume of property being sold by auction, which is confirmation that people want to do business this way,’’ said Mr Armstrong.
Bellow Hill Farm, a 30-acre smallholding in the Garsdale Valley with a farmhouse and barns, sold for £780,000, 63% above its guide price, while Corfe Farm at Wharton, Lancashire, which included a farmhouse and four acres of land, sold for 25% more than its guide.
Mr Armstrong said there was a good case for live auctions.
“Live auctions are the most transparent methods of sale as no one can make a bid unless they have the funds available, and all bidders can see that the reserve has been met or surpassed.
“The other main benefits of selling through the live auction system are that there is no property chain, and once the hammer falls the buyer is committed to purchasing and is expected to immediately pay a 10% deposit and sign a contract.’’
There was also strong demand for bare blocks of land, woodland, farms, and property, said Mr Armstrong.