South-west buyers look to second income potential

South-west property firms are setting the pace in 2007 with few agents in other parts of the country venturing to the market yet.

David Kivell of DR Kivell & Partners is typical. He has just launched two properties and has another four or five in the pipeline. “There is going to be some decent stuff around this year and there still seems to be plenty of demand.”

A potential buyer from Yorkshire had already looked at Beardon Barton, a 110-acre grass farm at Boyton, near Launceston, Cornwall, said Mr Kivell.

Including a five-bed Grade II listed house, the farm is guided at £1.5m. However, Mr Kivell said a terrace of five holiday cottages and planning consent for barn conversions for a further three would attract plenty of interest.

“I’m finding that a lot of farmers and non-farmers enquiring about properties are very keen to hear about what secondary income is available. People will spend more time looking at the books for the holiday cottages than the land.”

Mr Kivell said there seemed to be an acceptance now, even from farmers, that a lot of farms in the region wouldn’t be able to support themselves on agriculture alone and some sort of diversification enterprise was necessary.

“A reasonably sized holiday complex can produce an income of £40,000 to £50,000 or more. Weigh that up against the farming income and there’s no competition.”

Also available from Mr Kivell, West Milton Farm at Morwenstow, near Bude, Cornwall, has a 16th century thatched farmhouse, 40 acres of land and a price tag of £1.15m. Income potential comes from an American barn with 18 stables and other equestrian facilities.

In Devon, Strutt & Parker’s James Baker is selling Palmers Norley Farm, a 111-acre farm at Northlew, near Okehampton, that has planning consent for a four-bed holiday cottage. This is included with the main Grade II listed house and about 45 acres of pasture, lake and woodland. The price is £850,000. A general purpose building and 65 acres of land are priced at £200,000.

Stags’ Alex Rew will be going into auction action later in the spring with Clapp Mill Farm near Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon.

The 70-acre former dairy unit, which is being sold by Andrew and Jane Buxton who are concentrating on their adjoining holding, will go under the hammer in six lots on 22 March with a total guide price of £620,000-£670,000.

Lot one (£350,000-£400,000) includes a three-bed brick farmhouse in need of modernisation and an extensive range of farm buildings suited to alternative uses, said Mr Rew. Lot two (£150,000) comes with more buildings and 15 acres of pasture.