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Farms and Land Market Update – Optimism, despite the weather

Farms and Land Market Update – Optimism, despite the weather

George Alder, Partner and Head of Farm AgencyGeorge Alder, Partner and Head of Farm Agency, discusses the farms and land market and what the rest of 2024 may bring.

So far this year, there has been a clear mood of optimism in the residential market. Firmwide we have seen a 50% increase in the number of property enquiries, with falling inflation and Bank of England maintaining the base rate, we very much hope to see a return to normal market conditions. This improving activity will generally filter through to the farms and so far this year Stags Farm Agency have completed on the sale of five farms.

For those selling or buying farms or land, there are many good reasons to be positive about the market:

- Farms and land continue to appeal to a variety of buyers, not just farmers. Traditionally, farmers and lifestyle buyers have been the two largest groups of purchasers, but we are now seeing a third type of buyer entering the market looking for biodiversity to offset their climate impact. 

- We still have a number of buyers with rollover funds, these types of buyers continue to favor farm and land purchases and are often attracted to the South West or wishing to remain in the South West.

- The farmland market continues to be resilient to outside economic influences.  Over the last few years we have seen very little price change as a result of the Bank of England base rate going from 3.5% to 5.25%.  Therefore, farms and land appear to remain a secure asset.

- Optimism – Farmers remain positive about the future, with the phasing out of the BPS payments, many have been generating income through the Sustainable Farming Incentive, by adopting environmental practices that are also benefiting their business. There is a number viable business’s keen to expand.

- Nature-based solutions – We have seen a change from farming being the main land use type, we now have with buyers with defined and specific land and farm requirements to enable them to make biodiversity and climate change impact.

- South West appeal – According to Rightmove, Cornwall and Devon remain the second and third most searched locations for 2023, this will set us up well for the coming year.

For 2024, we expect the farming market to remain resilient against flat economic growth or interest rate fluctuations. With buyers seeing farms and land as a safe long-term investment, demand will remain. For those considering a purchase or wanting to know the value of their farm or land, Stags Farm Agency are always pleased to help.