Buyer appetite for UK farmland has been fuelled by an increase in the amount for sale, and overall values are down 1.3% year on year in the second quarter as a result.
According to new data from national property consultancy Carter Jones, bare arable land prices increased to an average of £8,961 – up 0.5% quarter on quarter.
It is believed that vastly improved weather conditions throughout spring following the long winter breathed new life into farmland activity, which also ensured that values held firm.
Meanwhile, the firm also point to evidence which suggests that any negative impact on the agricultural sector in recent times coming as a result of Brexit has levelled out in some cases, and that some buyers are simply becoming more adaptable and strategic in the market.
However, concerns remain in some quarters, with many vendors, most notably those of larger assets, are expressing concerns about the lack of government support, as well as a potential future lack of profitability.
The report claims that the market is becoming increasingly resilient to any concerns over Brexit, because it is widely suggested that policy changes are likely to be kept to a minimum. This comes despite the stance on the Agricultural Bill taken by Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, being met with much trepidation.
‘The increase in volume of transactions and values achieved is certainly promising for the farmland market and indicates the emergence of a certain stability after 18 months of flux. Indeed, we can feasibly anticipate that the brief period of declining land values has passed,’ said Andrew Fallows, head of rural agency at Carter Jonas.
‘It goes without saying that Brexit has exerted certain pressures on the agricultural sector since the Referendum two years’ ago, but this quarter’s figures indicate, for the first time, that landowners have resolved to plough forth regardless,’ he explained.
‘While some are still waiting for clarity from Michael Gove on the Agricultural Bill, it would appear that the farming community is starting to acclimatise to the protracted uncertainty and is ready to progress forward where possible,’ he added.