No autumn land rush

FARM BUYERS hoping for a rush of new properties to choose from across England during the autumn selling season could be disappointed.

Andrew Black of land agent Savills’ York office said there had been some very strong sales in the area recently – 587 acres of Grade 2 arable land at Lotherton, near Leeds, made £3500-4000/acre – but this still hadn’t been enough to tempt vendors out of the woodwork.

“I can’t see much coming at all to be honest.”

But next spring might see the market tested more when farmers might actually have received their first single farm cheques, he added.

“They don’t have the paperwork to prove anything yet.”

However, in Somerset,Taunton-based Dreweatt Neate agent Kit Harding said getting the SFP could even encourage some older farmers not to sell because the payment would allow them to carry on farming while easing their workload.

“I think we’ve seen the farms that were waiting to come onto the market because of the single farm payment.

“It is still very tax effective to keep hold of farms and that could override the reasons to sell.”

Natalie Price of Strutt & Parker’s London office said there could be more farms for sale in the south of England in the second half of the year but she didn’t expect a dramatic change.

“We’ve got a couple of big things coming but then we would always expect that.”

In the more commercial farming county of Lincolnshire, however, Spalding-based Tom White of Brown & Co said: “I have a feeling there might be some more farms coming.

“I’m having a few conversations and I suspect others are doing the same. I’m increasingly talking to farmers who are depressed about wheat at £60/t and the effect of sugar beet reform.”

But Mr White didn’t think there would be a glut of farms on the market. “If there is going to be a spike it is always going to be in the spring.”