Farmland marketed in England hits 10-year high

Supplies of farmland marketed in England has hit the highest level in 10 years after an exceptional amount came forward in the past three months.

According to Strutt & Parker’s Farmland Database, 50,000 acres arrived on the market in July, August and September, bringing the total amount launched for sale in 2018 to 96,600 acres.

Michael Fiddes, head of estates and farm agency for Strutt & Parker, said: “We’ve gone from very tight supplies earlier in the year to a position where we’ve seen more land put on the open market than at any point in a decade.

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“A significant chunk of the land which came forward in Q3 is accounted for by sales by a handful of larger landowners – seven farms marketed in Q3 account for 28,000 acres alone.

“However, even ignoring these, supplies do look to have increased. There have been more farms for sale in the east of England, including six larger than 1,000 acres, compared with two in 2017.

He said there had also been a big increase in the south-west, with 46 farms marketed, the most since 2010, and 8,000 acres in the north-east compared with 2,100 in 2017.

Despite the increase there has as yet been no change in the price of arable land, with values averaging £9,500 across 2018 after stripping out the estimated value of buildings and houses.

Prices remain highly variable, ranging from a low of £6,000/acre to a high of £15,000/acre, with demand strongest for cereals farms and large farms above 1,000 acres.