Acreage values still rise but below 97

5 November 1999

Acreage values still rise but below 97

LAND values in some sectors of the farmland market continued to rise during the third quarter of the year although levels are still below the peak reached in 1997.

"The weighted average price for vacant possession land sold in England and Wales rose to £3082/acre," said the recently published Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Farmland Price Survey.

A fall off in demand was evident nationwide – most notably in the south-east and East Anglia – but the continued tight supply led to some higher sales being achieved.

Farms with a residential interest continued to attract strong demand and sold at an increased premium but the likelihood of further interest rate rises suggests that demand will level off over the next few quarters.

"Non-agricultural money is maintaining a stronger farmland market than expected with non-farmer buyers often giving opportunities to farmers to rent or contract manage the land and spread their own loss," said Martin Lowry, Winchester office, Dreweatt Neate.

However prices for dairy or stock farms often remained subdued reported the survey with values remaining well below 1996 and 1997 levels.

Many surveyors expect dairy farmland to show the largest increase in supply in the immediate future.

Prices are also predicted to decrease over the next year as some of the tightness of supply eases and demand remains limited.

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