8 May 2000
Farmland prices expected to fall
By FWi staff
THE price of land is expected to fall as more farmers take stock of the farming crisis and decide to sell up, a leading chartered surveyor has warned.
At around 6200/ha (2500/acre), the average farmland price in England and Wales has so far held its own, according to figures from Strutt and Parker.
But the figure masks a widening range of prices across the country and prices are expected to fall, according to Ian Hepburn of the companys Salisbury office.
“We suspect that a potential increase in supply for the current selling season may soon begin to depress prices,” he said.
The overall average farmland price dipped slightly in the first quarter of this year, according to the May edition of Strutt and Parkers Farmland Update.
The publication forecasts that the availability of farmland will continue to rise over the coming months, partly reflecting the longer time it takes to sell land.
In particular, many more smaller blocks of land are coming on to the market as farms are rationalised to ease the effect of falling farm incomes, said Mr Hepburn.
“My view is that there could be a further depression in land prices this year.”
However, the value of residential farms shows every sign of continuing to perform well, especially in southern England.
The overall value of land has remained fairly static since the farming crisis began to bite in 1997. But the residential element has increased by 15-20%.