We are now three quarters of the way through 2017. Whilst all the good and varied reasons for buying and owning land remain, we continue to see the polarisation of demand and sale prices making the work of a rural valuer all the more challenging.
Uncertainty has been the buzz word, whatever your political views, since the unexpected referendum result last year, the general election and the start of Brexit negotiations. We are seeing buyers of commercial farmland alone being a little more cautious, farms or land with diverse income streams and smaller blocks more popular. Prices achieved and speed of sale can vary widely but the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire is still a popular place to buy. Availability of land is still however relatively low, which helps underpin values.
An example of the type of land retaining its value and popularity is a block of 20 acres of level pasture on the edge of the village of Chedworth near Cirencester, http://www.butlersherborn.co.uk/chedworth/fields-road/nid1256, with a guide price of £10,000/acre.
The recently published RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey echoes our local experience with demand for the first half of 2017 continuing to soften across the mixed and commercial sectors. Conditions remain stronger for higher quality land, whilst purchasers are more selective for more marginal land.
The survey reports a UK average fall for bare arable land from £8,982 /ac in the second half of 2016 to £8,378 / ac in the first half of 2017.
At Butler Sherborn we expect the foreseeable outlook to show a continuation of the current trends, with there being a wide difference between the highest and lowest prices achieved, and the more marginal blocks of commercial farmland perhaps falling further in price.
Timeliness and proper preparation for a sale remain of paramount importance to ensure the best chance of success. This is likely to mean making plans well in advance with your agent, solicitor and accountant. We provide an entirely discrete and confidential service and would be very happy to provide some initial thoughts and advice concerning a future disposal, without any initial charge or obligation.
Contact Richard Greasby in confidence on 01285 883740 or email@example.com