Strong demand pushes Dorset land values up

Land values in Dorset are routinely breaking the £5000/acre barrier, according to Savills’ David Cross who is just about to launch a 560-acre dairy and arable farm in the Cranborne Chase.

Mr Cross has not set the bar quite so high for North Farm at Gussage St Michael, near Wimborne, but has still guided the farm’s land at £4000-£45000/acre.

“All the evidence suggests land like this should make over £5000/acre, but I tend to set guides a little below where I think the market is.

Strong demand

“Demand has been extremely strong this year for these chalkland farms and we have a number extremely well as demand is still very strong from British and European buyers, either farmers or non-farmers.”

The farm was being sold by the executors of the estate of its owner who died last year and never lived on the property, said Mr Cross.

This meant there was no principal farmhouse, but there was a modern manager’s house and three cottages all occupied by farm workers under protected tenancies.

Opportunity for dairy farmer

He has guide the whole farm at £4m but has also split it into 11 lots. It would also be available lock stock and barrel.

Three sets of buildings are included, one of which houses a milking parlour that handles just under 150 cows.

Recent milk price rises meant the farm’s buyer could be a dairy farmer, said Mr Cross.

“At long last its seems there is more of a demand from people who want to stay in dairying.”

Discount herd

However, Mr Cross said the farm’s dairy herd was currently under TB restrictions.

“The next skin test is in October so it’s an interesting conundrum. If somebody wants the whole herd and is prepared to live with the problem they might be able to buy it at a discount.

If nobody wanted the cows they would probably be culled for meat, said Mr Cross.