Scottish land market set ablaze

SCOTLAND’S LAND market has come alight just in time for this week’s Royal Highland Show.

A new wave of farms sales should ensure the region’s half-year results are significantly up on last year.

Anna Thomas of Savills’ Edinburgh office said: “We have had 4000 acres come on in the past week and indications that many more farmers are now considering their options.

“Compared with 2002, when 22,600 acres were marketed, and 16,500 acres in 2003 the market remains tight, however, activity is moving in a positive direction.

“Farmers are seeing more light at the end of the SFP tunnel and recognise that prices, for the moment, remain firm and are looking at their options on the back of these prices.”

Miss Thomas said the Highland Show week was a good time to launch new properties because potential buyers from outside Scotland could combine the show with farm viewings.

More farms would probably come on in the autumn once the first retention period for claiming the single farm payment had expired, she said.

But many farmers thinking of selling would probably wait until spring 2006 once they had actually received their SFP cheque, she added.