Acres launched to the open market in Yorkshire and Humber this year have halved compared with 2018, with those farms that have changed hands achieving strong prices.
Private sales, which often attract a premium for confidentiality purposes, are continuing to be a factor behind the scenes for a range of properties and buyer types.
Agents say the ongoing political and farm subsidy uncertainty as the year draws to a close is unlikely to have much of an effect on the market.
See also: Land in your area: North-east England
The 2019 land market has seen prices all over the place. Some farms have sold very well, with competitive bidding, and others struggled for offers.
Arable land has made anywhere between £6,000/acre and £15,000/acre.
For the best-in-class farms and land in the right parishes with strong neighbouring interest, record prices can and are still being achieved.
We have also been involved in a number of off-market sales, and we are aware of one Wolds arable farm that sold privately for a very large figure to a tax-driven purchaser.
As we head towards the end of 2019, there is uncertainty over the forthcoming general election, Brexit, subsidies and the future of farming income.
However, subsidies don’t drive the land market and the Brexit decision in 2016 didn’t stall it.
The main drivers continue to be: tax benefits; renewable schemes; and interest rates, which are still low, meaning borrowing is cheap.
Tom Watson, director, Cundalls
The year has been typified by a shortage of open market supply, and Yorkshire and the Humber has been no exception. However, there have been some notable private transactions in the region that go unrecognised to the naked eye.
We have been involved in the private sale of numerous equipped farms and blocks of land of a commercial scale (450 acres plus) across Holderness, the Wolds and the Trent Valley.
Trade for commercial units has been strong and, in some cases, record levels have been achieved. Most transactions fit within £9,000-£14,000/acre, depending on quality, neighbour interest, availability of water etc. Rollover buyers remain imperative to the strength of the market.
There has been much said about political uncertainty and Brexit and there is no doubt that buyers are becoming increasingly discerning, but the fact remains that quality farms of reasonable scale continue to sell.
James Walton, partner, Brown & Co
What’s on the market?
Pond Farm, Ellerton, near York, is on the market with Cundalls, available for £920,000 as a whole or in three lots.
The mixed arable and livestock unit includes 85 acres, a two-bedroom bungalow, and a range of buildings, which have previously been used for livestock housing and storage but could offer further potential subject to the necessary consents.
What’s under offer?
Near Doncaster, an airfield has been returned to arable use and launched by Brown & Co with a guide price of £2.25m.
Lindholme Farm, which includes 300 acres, was marketed by informal tender and has recently gone under offer, having received a high number of tenders. Completion is expected in the new year.