BPS entitlement trade picking up pace

Trade in BPS entitlements has picked up significantly in recent weeks after a slow start to the year, according to brokers.

Larger lots of England’s non-SDA (severely disadvantaged area) entitlements are currently trading around the £95-£100/ha (plus VAT) mark.

Smaller lots are much more variable, achieving prices ranging from £105/ha to £155/ha.

See also: Brokers say BPS entitlements are a good investment for 2020

Toby Galliers of Cheshire-based Rostons said trade had been relatively slow after Christmas, but had picked up in the past few weeks as people turned their attention to filling out their BPS forms.

“We’ve seen an increase in the amount of queries we are getting from both buyers and sellers,” he said.

Recent deals that Rostons have struck have been from £115/ha to £130/ha (plus VAT).

Ian Potter of Ian Potter Associates said the market was now fairly active and there was a good balance between the number of entitlements on offer and people seeking to secure them.

He was selling larger blocks of non-SDA entitlements at about £95/ha (plus VAT), which was a “complete no brainer” given that the BPS payment for 2020 will be about £230/ha.

“You don’t need a calculator – you are going to double your money.”

In its latest update, Exeter-based Townsends said the number of transactions and volume of non-SDA entitlements were both up on the same point last year.

“What is surprising is that as the country has gone into lockdown, with the resulting effect on the economy, demand has strengthened.

“At one point, we were expecting prices to drop below the £100/ha mark and were ready for a free-fall, whereas instead they have firmed, especially this last week.”

It said prices for lots of more than 15ha were currently solid at £100/ha, but showing signs of firming.

SDA entitlements were trading at £175/ha for VAT-registered vendors and £190/ha for non-VAT.

George King from WebbPaton said he had just sold some SDA entitlements at £190/ha plus VAT, with non-SDA ranging from £100/ha to £155/ha (plus VAT).

Welsh entitlements are currently trading at between £60/ha and £70/ha (plus VAT).

The deadline for trading in Wales remains 30 April, even though the SAF application deadline has been moved to 15 June.