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Farmland markets remain ‘incredibly polarised’ in 2018

Farmland markets remained ‘incredibly polarised’ in the first half of the year, with location and farm type driving the prices paid.

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Farmland markets remain polarised

And land agents Strutt and Parker believed the farmland market was becoming tougher, despite average values rising over the first half of 2018 in England.

 

More than a third of the farms marketed in 2017 either remained available or have been withdrawn.

 

Michael Fiddes, head of estate and farm agency at Strutt and Parker, said the market remained ‘incredibly polarised’ dictated by location and farm type.


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“Land is still achieving excellent prices in areas where there are tight supplies and where buyers are funding a purchase with money from outside of farming," said Mr Fiddes.

 

"However, in areas where farmer buyers dominate, prices can be lower.”

 

The price paid for arable land in England over the past six months ranges from £16,800/hectare to £37,050/ha.

 

Outside investment

 

The proportion of farms being bought by buyers using capital made outside of farming was rising, with location key for lifestyle buyers, investors and those with rollover funds from development land sales.

 

Farm size also has an effect, with only 15 per cent of the larger farms still available or withdrawn, compared with over 40 per cent of smaller ones.

 

The weather has had a major impact on supply to the Scottish market, according to Savills.

 

Charles Dudgeon, Scotland farm and estate sales, said supply was down 21 per cent on last year.

 

“The wide range of prices offered for farmland continues, with some arable farms making over £24,700 per hectare, but it depends on location and size.

 

“At a regional level, the market is active in Aberdeenshire but less so in the Borders and South West Scotland.”

 

Wales

 

Welsh farm sales also only got underway in the second quarter.

 

Daniel Rees, Savills Wales, said farms had been coming to the market due to retirement – and buyers either looking to expand their holdings, purchase second units or relocate from the rest of the UK had also returned to the market.

 

Mr Rees said: “Lifestyle buyers are still active for the smaller, less commercial units. Values have remained steady for the best-equipped farms with productive land.”

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