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Farmland market holds up despite scarcity of sales

Farmland prices rose by an average of 3 per cent in 2020 with a record low supply combining with robust demand buoyed up by lifestyle buyers helping to support values, according to agent Strutt & Parker.

The average price of arable land was £9,300/acre – the same as the average over the past five years – and with the average price of pasture at £7,200/acre. Matthew Sudlow, head of the firm’s estates and farm agency, said: “In the second half of 2020 we saw strong interest in residential farms and estates, particularly in the south and west of England, from buyers seeking a change in lifestyle as a result of Covid-19. Rollover buyers, along with private investors, continue to be active in many regions, viewing farmland as a safe, long-term investment. We have also had an increased number of enquiries from overseas.”

Across England, just under 54,000 acres were publicly marketed in 2020, the lowest amount on the agent’s records. In the East, the volume of land publicly marketed actually rose to 11,100 acres in 2020 from 8,600 acres in the previous year, although it remained 30 per cent below the five-year average. With the Brexit deal signed and the Agriculture Bill set to become law, landowners have a clearer picture of the future but the volume of land on the market is expected to remain tight in the short term.


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