Flurry boosts Scots’ market

SCOTLAND’S LAND market has remained sluggish this year, but a handful of new launches across the country is adding some much-needed spice in the run up to Christmas.

In the Borders, there is another large farm to choose from after Knight Frank’s recent launch of the 1343-acre Greenknowe Estate (Land and Farms, Nov 26). The Galashiels office of agent Edwin Thompson is selling Hundalee, a 758-acre arable and livestock farm near Jedburgh, Roxburghshire.

Hugh Jones, who is handling the sale, said it had been brought about reluctantly by CAP reform. His clients, Mr and Mrs Parlett, bought the property 15 years ago to let out as an investment. This agreement came to an end last year and the Parletts decided not to re-let because of uncertainty after land reform in Scotland.

But they have no history on which to make a claim for the single farm payment next year and Mr Jones said rather than apply to the national reserve and wait five years before being able to trade any entitlement awarded, his clients, both in their mid-60s, had decided to sell instead.

Even without SFP entitlement, Mr Jones said there had already been lots of interest in the farm, which is priced at offers over 1.4m and includes a modern four-bedroom agriculturally tied house. “We have already sent out over 300 sets of particulars.”

He reckoned there were a lot of Scottish farmers who were entitled to SFP, but needed land with no entitlement attached on which to claim it. This was one reason for not waiting until the traditional spring selling season to launch the farm.”

In Fife, Smiths Gore is selling 546-acre Kirkton Barns at Tayport, which includes an estimated 31,300 of SFP and was likely to appeal to commercial farmers, said Niall Macalister Hall of the firm’s Edinburgh office. “It is just bare land, so I think the main interest will be from agricultural producers looking to expand.”

He said the soil, classified as Grade 2 and 3 under the Scottish system, was able to grow potatoes, vegetables and malting barley. Three storage buildings are also included.

Mr Macalister Hall is asking for offers over 1.15m – about 2100/acre – but he said he was hopeful of eventually achieving more than 1.4m. “The last similar sale I had made over 3000/acre.”

Further North, Aberdeen & Northern has two farms on offer in Morayshire, an area where farms rarely come up for sale, says the firm’s John Rhind.

Maverston, near Urquhart, is a 320-acre mixed farm, which has planning consent for an 18-hole golf course, hotel and clubhouse. But Mr Rhind said the 149 acres of woodland and a seven-acre loch might also attract somebody looking to create their own estate. The guide, which includes a farmhouse in poor condition, is for offers of more than 1.25m.

Snab of Moy at Kintessack, near Forres, is a 150-acre mixed unit, plus a four-bedroom traditional farmhouse and is priced at £400,000.

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