Land values could become a ‘postcode lottery’ as development opportunities vary from district to district.
This was the message from Bruton Knowles rural affairs specialist Matthew Peters, who said although development land prices adjoining urban centres may be hitting new heights, agricultural land values may dip this year.
There was also growing uncertainty about the impact the EU membership referendum could have on property investment if the public voted to leave the EU, warned property consultancy Carter Jonas.
Mr Peters said: “While there is strong interest for development land near towns and cities, there is little or no interest in some areas for agricultural land. With both arable and dairy farmers struggling to make headway, there are some big blocks of land coming up for sale which will mean an interesting barometer.
“Development land sales for large-scale projects adjoining some of West Wales’ cities are achieving good prices, but it this is for key pieces of land for new housing on greenfield sites. Land a bit further out of town is now being looked at as developers look to extend their land banks.
“But, looking at all the factors in the agricultural land market, we believe this could lead to an overall reduction in land values.
“Land values are becoming a postcode lottery and people are seeing wide divergence within a few hundred metres. Landowners with roll-over money from previous sales can afford to be picky as to which piece of land they go for.
“I believe this could set the trend for the next few years.”
Findings from a Carter Jonas poll of leading property experts show 65 per cent believe a Brexit would have a negative impact on investment in UK property.
However, only 10 per cent of those surveyed said they would consider relocating their business to another EU country in the event of a vote to leave.
Darren Yates, head of research at Carter Jonas, said: “While the EU referendum campaign is still in its early stages, most people in the property industry are concerned a Brexit would make the UK less attractive for investment.”
The Carter Jonas report alluded the threat to £3 billion of Common Agricultural Support payments, which has been well documented in recent weeks, but also warned ‘major exporters of food, drink and animal feeds would be worried about future access to the single market’.
Access to migrant labour would also be a concern if the UK tightened its borders, although the report acknowledged potential benefits arising from a reduction in EU red tape and regulation.