The number of acres on the market in north-east England is down on the year by almost 40%, on a par with the national supply’s picture, which at its worst was down 82%, but has now settled at about -34%.
The average price of arable land has increased from £7,500/acre in 2019 to £8,250/acre this year, while pasture’s price remains steady at £5,000/acre.
With huge demand for land and rural properties from a wide range of buyers, the overwhelming message from agents is for vendors considering selling to start the process as soon as possible.
The 2020 market has been characterised by extremely limited supply, but what has been marketed has seen good interest and sold well.
This demonstrates that demand remains firm and is assisting with underpinning values across the region.
Demand is strongest for equipped units that offer diversified income streams such as holiday lets or renewable energy.
The lifestyle market continues to strengthen as the pandemic has driven a requirement for property that offers a balance between lifestyle and connectivity. Close proximity to Newcastle, Darlington and York means excellent access to London, which is a significant benefit to many buyers.
The shift in agricultural policy towards public money for public goods has driven demand for property offering the ability to tap in to environmental credentials, highlighted by the strong sale of a 400-acre ‘eco-farm’ which progressed despite lockdown.
Looking to 2021, as the budget continues to be delayed and we enjoy a settled tax environment, we are saying to potential sellers “why wait to sell?”.
Sam Johnson, associate, Carter Jonas
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Despite the monumental distress caused by Covid-19, the North East land market has remained significantly active. Both private and on-market properties have received serious and genuine interest, as well as achieving good prices.
Prices have maintained their value over the past 12 months, undoubtedly due to the lack of property coming to the market. However, when properties do become available, this very constraint produces active interest from both near and distant purchasers.
Of course, land is a safe investment in turbulent times, and this is reflected in buyer trends. This, coupled with the low cost of long-term borrowing and the ability to fix borrowing for long periods, has maintained the strong interest.
There is undoubtedly a huge demand for land with potential for forestry planting, and with the announcement of additional funding, this is likely to continue.
For any potential vendors, my advice would be to start the discussion sooner rather than later. The demand is there, the money is available, and the asset is considered very secure.
Tom Oates, partner, youngsRPS
What sold well?
Home Farm in Richmond, North Yorkshire, was on the market at £2.1m with Carter Jonas.
The livestock holding includes 135 acres, a modern equestrian facility, three cottages, a four-bedroom farmhouse, and a granary barn, and sold close to its guide.
What’s on the market?
Near Witton-le-Wear, County Durham, youngsRPS has launched 118-acre Blakeley Hall Farm with a guide price of £1.35m.
The grassland unit has a three-bedroom house, modern buildings, and traditional buildings with planning consent for residential conversion.