Development opportunities and rollover funds are having a major influence in the South East land market, while farmer buyers continue to exercise caution amid short-term uncertainty.
The prices of arable and grassland are still high, with the highest value of bare arable land at £15,000/acres and the lowest at £7,200/acre.
However, unrealistic prices can scupper a chance of landowners attracting buyers, say agents.
Looking back at 2017
“The land market in the South East has remained firm this year, underpinned by rollover funds and the continued ability to fix mortgages at historically low rates.
“Most of the land we took to market over the spring and autumn months has sold at guide and while the statistics suggest this is not the case in other parts of the country, we continue to see a sustainable market for all land types in Kent and Sussex.
“We have also seen a considerable number of redundant farm buildings selling for development and there is a keen appetite among buyers for them.”
Richard Thomas, director, BTF Partnership
Looking ahead to 2018
“The effects of political uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the rural market can be seen across the board.
“Numerous rollover buyers are playing a significant role in propping up the market. However, any landowner thinking about selling simply must get the guide price right – unrealistic values are the first step on the road to ruin, and can kill a sale.
“As rural businesses struggle to maintain profitability levels and with support payments likely to be scaled back it is essential that the UK is in a position to increase productivity and cut the cost of production in order to be able to compete in the world market.”
Richard Liddiard, rural partner, Carter Jonas