Record High for Farm Land Value

by Kate Foster

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

02 MAY Drumbuie Farm hill viewThe value of Scottish farm land has reached a record high thanks to huge demand within the market, according to one of Scotland’s leading land and property agents.

Trusted property agent Bell Ingram has continued to experience high demand and rising prices for farms and farm land, reflecting a buoyant market after some of the best weather conditions Scotland has seen for years.

Mark Mitchell, Director of Rural Land Management at Perth-based Bell Ingram says that farmers are now paying up to and – in cases well over – £7,000 an acre for arable land in some parts of Scotland, with the value of arable land in Scotland having doubled over the last decade.

One of the key factors is that banks still consider agriculture to be a relatively safe bet and are providing finance to farmers looking to expand their farms by purchasing units as they come up for sale.

Bare land remains the most attractive to buyers as they seek to expand and spread their costs over a larger acreage. Houses and buildings are only useful to these buyers where they have a need.

The long, hot summer has provided excellent growing conditions for crops of all varieties and the fact that it has continued into the harvest period has been an added bonus. The cream on top is the fact that the winter crops are being sown in the best conditions for years.

Despite the number of farms on the market in 2013 almost all of those being marketed by Bell Ingram have either completed or are under offer, which Mark Mitchell believes is a result of good marketing and sensible pricing.

The land agent manages 500,000 hectares across the UK on behalf of public, private and corporate clients.

Mr Mitchell said: “The price of farm land is now at an all time high and has been for the past two or three years. Confidence in the industry is equally buoyant which has resulted in furious competiton for farms of any size coming to the market.

“There is a lot of demand for land and as a result it’s moving reasonably quickly. In comparison to the residential side of the property market, it’s much more buoyant. And if it’s in a desirable spot, it does not hang about.

“The last two or three years have proved a very strong period and now land is double the price that it was in 2003. Land continues to be highly desirable, something which is unlikely to change overnight.

“The highest demand is for bare land, that without cottages or houses on it, because farmers are looking to increase their arable acreage in the most efficient way. This means they can spread their costs of production over a larger acreage and thus increase their margins.

“Farmers should have a good harvest this year because the weather has been so fantastic and they are also having great conditions for sowing the 2014 crops, so it bodes well for next year’s harvest as well.”

Some of the highest prices are being fetched for arable land in the Perthshire area which is fetching well over £7,000 an acre in places.

Established 112 years ago, Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices, including chartered surveyors, estate and forestry managers, architects, building surveyors, Tourism and green energy specialists.

Bell Ingram is one of the UK’s leading land and estate agents, yet still retains a local touch, with a unique understanding of UK communities, providing a personal service which is tailored to individual client needs.

Private: Kate Foster

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