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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Values of farmland increase to record levels

THE value of farmland in England has hit record highs.

Both bare and equipped land were at historic high levels at the end of 2012, with the average value of land across the country reaching £9,100 per acre.

Bare land prices rose six per cent in the final quarter of last year, while equipped land remained unchanged.

The rise in land prices, however, was lower than forecast, at five per cent over the whole of 2012, and follows a 14 per cent increase in the previous year.

Simon Waller, partner at Smiths Gore, commented on land prices in the North West.

He said: “We have seen some activity in North West England through the final quarter of 2012.

“There is no indication however, given the delay over introduction of the new Common Agricultural Policy and the uncertainty that this brings, that we can expect increased acres to be offered in the course of the next 12 months.

“This shortage of land for sale is likely to mean that values should remain at current or slightly increased levels.”

Giles Wordsworth, head of farm agency at Smiths Gore, said: “Bare land values have risen strongly, by six per cent in the final quarter and by a total of 17 per cent over 2012. By comparison the performance of equipped properties was weaker in 2012, with values holding constant in the final quarter, and increasing by a total of three per cent during the year.

“Looking at their relative performance over recent years we can see that bare land has been the better investment, increasing in value by 46 per cent over the last three years and 57 per cent since the start of the recession in 2008.

“By comparison, equipped values have increased 34 per cent over the last three years and by 15 per cent since the start of the recession.”

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