Welsh farmland supply increased by 25% to the end of September, but data also shows a softening of values across the board.
Savills says more than 10,000 acres have been launched for sale across 63 farms so far in 2018, compared with 9,000 acres across 54 farms seen through the whole of 2017.
Associate director Dan Rees said Brexit uncertainty was behind a drop in average values, but that quality blocks and well-equipped farms still see strong competition.
“In the short term I expect values to be steady, but am hopeful that renewed confidence in the sector will strengthen the market,” Mr Rees said.
He predicts most sellers will delay coming to the market in 2019 but says some will sell privately in advance if possible.
“Renewed confidence in the markets may sway those who have been waiting to buy or sell,” he said.
There has been an absence of larger commercial units of 200 acres or more coming to market this year – particularly in mid- and north Wales.
This is a continuation of what we saw in the latter half of 2017, with a shift towards smaller units and bare blocks.
I think there is a wait-and-see attitude held by those considering a sale in the next 12 months. Undoubtedly this shift has been driven by a nervousness derived from Brexit.
For smaller blocks of good grazing or arable land there is marked demand and good values are being achieved, but such hotspots are highly nuanced and can differ from parish to parish.
Now, more than ever, farmers and their advisors need a real grasp of the market. The danger is that land with an unrealistic guide price will stick.
Looking ahead, we expect the supply and demand of land to continue, with values staying level.
The sooner we begin to receive clarity around Brexit, particularly over the future of farming subsidies, the sooner I would expect to see some confidence returning to the Welsh market.
Hugh O’Donnell, associate, Carter Jonas, Bangor
Across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, it has been a mixed year, with sales attracting competitive bidding in one parish, while five miles away we might see a totally different situation.
Good grassland or maize land has made £8,500/acre, while some struggled to get £6,500 or £7,000/acre.
Well-equipped farms are attracting interest, but on the whole “patchy” is a good way of describing the market in 2018.
There has been a little bit more confidence coming into the market over the past six months, possibly because people have been waiting for two or three years and are now deciding to buy or sell.
Roger Davies, director, JJ Morris, Cardigan
What’s new to the market?
JJ Morris has recently launched a ring-fenced 132-acre grassland farm in north Pembrokeshire. At £1.35m, Gorsfraith at Boncath has a handful of traditional and modern buildings plus a farmhouse.
What sold well?
Ty Brych, Penmaen & Ty Uchaf at Llanddeusant in Carmarthenshire attracted good interest and sold with Carter Jonas at its £1.25m guide price. The ring-fenced, productive stock farm came with a range of buildings and two houses, plus common grazing rights for 400 ewes.