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Stags Farm Agent, Andrew Ranson, shares his thoughts on some of the topical issues of the moment.
Common sense would suggest that today’s political climate might not be the most sensible time to make a significant farmland purchase.
Given the uncertainty surrounding post-Brexit produce export and farm subsidies among other matters, it is understandable and unsurprising to see many farmers keeping their hands firmly in their pockets.
As always, the land market is a function of supply and demand. The supply of land is influenced by several factors, the most prominent of which are debt, divorce and death, and the former is certainly a contributing issue here. Our impending departure from the EU has caused the pound to weaken, which has had a positive impact on farm profits and as a consequence less property is being sold as a result of debt. As far as the West Country is concerned, the number of retiring farmers selling up seems unchanged and the banks are remaining sympathetic to struggling farmers, preventing distressed sales. Both of these factors result in a tight land supply in the South West.
In terms of demand, farmers are remaining optimistic and we are speaking regularly with a considerable number of farmers who believe that a level of uncertainty brings exciting opportunities.
To discuss the West Country farmland market further, please contact Andrew Ranson.