Despite Covid-19 and its widespread effects, land as an asset has remained resilient this year, with values in north-west England steady and demand only growing.
Local agents say land sold in 2020, particularly in the second half of the year, has seen high interest and achieved good prices in an exciting market.
According to Savills data, the region has had a better year for maintaining supply than others, with acres launched down by just 6% on 2019 and only three fewer farms marketed.
In the face of the global pandemic, we have seen resilience with strong results for farm and land sales.
This has been a good year for all types of agricultural land, with many in prime locations exceeding their guide price. We also managed to run our first ever onsite farm auction.
This year, good land in sought-after locations has attracted a strong demand and continues to sell well.
This includes everything from ring-fenced livestock farms and sizeable, fully-equipped dairy farms to woodland and parcels of bare land.
We seem to be finishing the year with a flourish, where late sales have been met with a large amount of interest.
There is an increasing interest from new entrants, and farm business tenancies continue to be sought after.
Here in the North West, there is a consistent trend of farmers seeking to expand their agricultural enterprises and acreages, resulting in many successful 2020 sales.
Thomas Armstrong, director, H&H Land & Estates
There continues to be strong demand across the property sector in the North West for rural residential property, smallholdings, and farms.
Lifestyle buyers have driven the rural residential market, with significant interest from across the UK – including those looking to relocate from southern England and the Midlands.
Buyers are looking for outdoor space with work-from-home potential. Larger units, bare land and forestry land are also enjoying strong interest from investors and expanding farming enterprises.
Quality and location are still key, but demand for rural properties that had been less attractive – for example, in less prestigious locations or those that need work or capital investment – have also become popular.
We are aware of both buyers and sellers in the carbon and natural capital market, particularly larger companies who are looking to offset their carbon emissions. This is an extremely exciting global market.
Chris Edmunds, director, Davidson & Robertson
What sold well?
Swaledale Watch in the Lake District National Park, Cumbria, was on the market with Davidson & Robertson earlier this year, guided at £875,000.
The 45-acre holding included two properties and received significant interest from both local buyers and those further afield, resulting in an early closing date.
What’s on the market?
Near Grange-over-Sands in Cumbria, H&H Land & Estates has launched 140-acre Longlands Farm with a guide price of £1.86m.
Available as a whole or in five lots, the livestock holding has a five-bedroom house, three-bedroom cottage and a range of buildings.
A further 34 acres are available by separate negotiation for £210,000.