Welsh farms broken up to appeal to ‘good lifers’

Welsh farmland is increasingly being broken up to appeal to lifestyle buyers – creating expansion opportunities for farmers, but adding premiums to bigger blocks.

Agents say commercial farms are increasingly being lotted for sale by separating land from “liabilities” such as houses and buildings.

Sarah Carden from Carter Jonas in north Wales said so-called “good lifers” only wanted about 30 acres and a house, so larger farms were being broken up.

“The buyers of land are predominately neighbouring farmers so we find that a house does not add value and becomes more of a liability for them,” she said.

Break-up of land offers farming opportunities

Daniel Rees from Savills said lotting large farms encouraged a range of potential buyers and had a positive effect on values.

“It makes the bare land a lot more attractive to farmers without having any costly residential element or buildings.

Premiums paid for land kept in larger blocks

But in mid-Wales and the border counties, James Evans from Halls was seeing the other side of the coin.

He said: “In the past few years there has been a premium paid for larger commercial units that have been kept together. This is because so many have been split up for lifestyle buyers, leading to fewer, big viable units of more than 100 acres.”

Mr Evans added that premiums of 5-10% had been paid by farmers, such was the scarcity of land.

“Between Welshpool and Shrewsbury we have even seen a dairy farmer buy a golf course and turn it back into farmland – that’s how keen they have been for land.”

Despite high demand, supply is limited and varies by region, according to data from Savills.

National supply has dwindled dramatically in 2015, with only 1,900 acres for sale so far – less than half the area marketed in 2014.



Farm succession planning during the Covid-19 crisis

Register now