The land market where you live: South-west England

Supply has jumped after a quiet couple of years but values remain strong across the region.

The decision by the Crown Estate to sell 3,400 acres of farmland near Taunton in Somerset accounts for half the supply increase seen in the region this year.

A handful of other good-sized units have also been brought to the open market during a busy year for agents.

See also: The land market where you live: South-east England

There is little let up in demand, with farmers eyeing commercial expansion opportunities and money from London being invested in lifestyle purchases.

What’s new to the market?

Aerial view of Emmetts Grange farm

Emmetts Grange © Savills

Emmetts Grange is one large offering for the region, with 893 acres near the village of Simonsbath on Exmoor, Somerset.

Savills is inviting offers above £6m for the estate, which has 407 acres of farmland and 461 acres of moorland plus woodland, a large house and five further dwellings.

What sold well?

Aerial view of land at Redcross

Land at Redcross © Stags

A relaunched block of 121 acres of productive grassland and farm buildings at Redcross Farm near Brompton Regis on Exmoor achieved close to its £695,000 guide with Stags.

It had attracted only conservative interest in 2017 before being withdrawn.

‘Chunky’ sales

A few chunky sales have skewed the data somewhat so the supply figures don’t necessarily mean people are rushing out and selling farms.

The market started in May rather than March, but it has run on through the autumn. The residential farms in a good location are sought after, with money coming from London.

We have seen a few farms that will be sold next year but some are sitting on their hands and waiting to see what will happen. Life will move on and if you only get one chance to buy something, buyers will go for it regardless.

Penny Dart, director, Savills, Exeter

Protecting businesses

There is continued interest from farmers looking for land to expand their holdings to protect the future viability of their businesses. Most farmland we have launched has been the result of the usual factors, rather than any concern over the future of agriculture.

There has been a lack of supply during previous years and perhaps those farms and farm businesses without any future succession opportunities have decided to take advantage of strong land values.

Based on our own figures, we’ve not seen a decrease in land values in the South-West, but while there is competition in some areas driving sale prices above guide, there are also areas where demand is not as strong.

Andrew Dodds, associate partner, Stags, Exeter