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6 November, 2019 - 21:05 By Kate Sweeney

East of England sees rise in farmland values

Despite a combination of political uncertainty and potential changes in agricultural policy continuing to delay decisions, green shoots of growth are starting to appear in the regional farmland market, according to a new report.

The East of England saw prices rise by 0.7 per cent between July and September according to the Savills quarterly Farmland Values Survey.

This compares to a net gain of 0.3 per cent across Great Britain as a whole and is only the second positive result since the peak of land prices in early 2015. The South West recorded the largest quarterly increase of 1.2 per cent.

By land type, prime arable and dairy land showed the strongest value growth of 0.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

However to the end of September Great Britain had experienced its lowest number of open market farmland launches since Savills records began in 1995. 

Adrian Wilson, from the rural team at Savills Cambridge, said: “The combination of political uncertainty and potential changes in agri policy continue to delay decisions to bring land to the market, but despite this, buyers remain active. 

“September is typically a rebound from the late summer recess – however the latest quarter figures confirm a new record low with supply 40 per cent down nationally on the same period last year (30 per cent down on the five-year average).”

Total acres marketed across Britain fell to 105,000 acres which is lower than the acreage recorded in September 2004 (116,000 acres) when uncertainty pre the introduction to the single farm payment affected the market.

Wilson added: “The market remains hugely localised. However, there are a number of committed buyers, with quality farmland priced appropriately seeing increased competition. Alternatively, vendors with over ambitious targets on price or indeed timescales are sometimes experiencing a more difficult sale process often with a less encouraging result.

“Looking forward, clarity in the political and economic environment may bring more land to the market as farmers assess renewed business objectives. There will always be a market for good quality farmland from those looking to expand their acreage either through renting, contracting or purchasing..”

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