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20 February, 2014 - 21:30 By News Desk

Prime arable land values hit £10k per acre in region

Alex Lawson, director of Savills farms and estates team

Prices for prime arable land in East Anglia increased by 19.4 per cent to average just under £10,000 per acre last year, Savills reports.

But the agent reports weaker or zero growth for either predominantly livestock farms or those with a high proportion of the guide price tied up in the residential element.

Alex Lawson, director of Savills farms and estates team, said: “In housing terms we often hear the phrase north/south divide. For the farmland market last year it was a case of an east/west divide. Prime arable land in the East has outperformed the rest of the country reflecting the buying power of arable farmers and the flight to commercial quality by investors.”

Analysis of the types of buyers in the market last year shows farmers continue to represent about half of all purchasers. But since the recession the mix of first-time farmland purchasers who are making a lifestyle purchase is 15 per cent compared with 42 per cent at the peak of the market.

Overseas buyers accounted for eight per cent of all buyers of which half were from the EU. This is some way off the 20 per cent high recorded in the mid-2000s when the Danes invested heavily particularly in the eastern counties.

Farmland values are rising globally: The highest growth rates were recorded in Romania, Hungary, Poland, Zambia, Mozambique and Brazil.

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Alex Lawson, Savills

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