30 December 1999
Desperate farmers refuse to sell land
FARMERS may be facing a crisis but are showing no signs of selling up, according to Archie MacGregor of UA Properties in Stirling.
The past year has been characterised by an extraordinarily meagre supply of farms coming on the market, he claimed.
Moreover, property prices have apparently defied the laws of gravity by persisting around the levels that were the norm in the happier days of 1996.
Prices have been stabilised by a generally supportive attitude from banks, and a reluctance on the part of farmers to give up their cherished way of life.
Many farmers in dire straits have shown a renewed willingness to consider alternative ventures such as contract-farming arrangements.
Mr MacGregor estimates that the best arable land in Scotland is selling at 2200-2700 per acre (5400-6700 per hectare).
Good arable is selling at 1500-2200 per acre; marginal arable at 800-1600; permanent pasture at 250-500; and hill/rough grazing land at 25-250.