English Farmland in High Demand

The first quarter of 2011 saw a 4% increase in English farmland prices, which are at an all-time high of £7,900 per acre. This indicates a strength not …

The first quarter of 2011 saw a 4% increase in English farmland prices, which are at an all-time high of £7,900 per acre. This indicates a strength not seen in the still-weak housing market. Read more about this in the full article by PropertyWire.

English farmland prices have reached an all time high as demand continues to outstrip supply and the market’s upward trajectory continues, the latest report shows.

Farmland prices in England rose by 4% in the first quarter of 2011 to an all time high of £7,900 per acre, showing the strength of the market compared with others, like the housing market, which is still weak, the report from Smiths Gore shows.

At the end of the first quarter, bare land values averaged £5,600 per acre, up 5% on the previous quarter, whilst equipped land averaged £8,600 per acre, up 4% and another all time high. Both bare and equipped land values have now recovered from the dip which followed the peak of the market in 2008.

‘Prices are still rising due to strong demand, from both farmer and non-farmer buyers, and the continuing low supply of land for sale,’ said Giles Wordsworth, head of Farm Agency at Smiths Gore.

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Just over 16,000 acres were marketed in January to March, the same as last year. But the constricted supply is more obvious when you look at the amount for sale in the six autumn and winter months.

‘You also appreciate just how small the market is when you look at individual regions, let alone counties. There have been only two blocks of land over 50 acres for sale in the whole of the North East since Christmas,’ said Jason Beedell, head of research at Smiths Gore.

Some 92 farms and parcels of land over 50 acres were marketed in the first quarter of 2011. This is comparable with the same period last year of 86 farms and 48% more than during the equivalent period of 2009.

The report also shows that 16,100 acres were marketed in the first quarter of 2011, which is equal to the first quarter of 2010, and more than the first quarter of 2009 when 13,700 acres were for sale.

In the equipped farms sector, that is farms with buildings, some 60 equipped farms were marketed in the first three months of 2011, compared with 56 in the same period in 2010.

There was slightly less land marketed at 11,300 acres in the first quarter of 2011 compared with 2010 at 11,700. The area marketed was also comparable with the first quarter of 2009 when 11,100 acres were brought to market.

The average unit size in the first quarter of 2011 was 188 acres, smaller than the 208 acre average for 2010. In the bare land sector there were 32 parcels marketed in the first quarter of 2011, which is more than the same period in 2010 at 30 properties. Some 4,900 acres were marketed in the first quarter of 2011, 9% more than in 2010 at 4,500 acres.

This article was republished with permission from PropertyWire.

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