Farming News - English farmland continues its upward trend

English farmland continues its upward trend

24 Apr 2012
Frontdesk / Machinery

The English Farmland Market Review, conducted by estate agents Strutt and Parker, has shown that agricultural land values rose again in the first quarter of 2012, although much less land was put up for sale.


The report showed that, whilst land values have increased by 1 per cent overall, to an average of £6,999/ acre for arable land, the rise is at a slower pace than last year despite the fact that 44 per cent less land found its way onto the market in the last quarter compared to the first quarter of 2011.


Pasture land saw a greater percentage increase than arable, which continues to be most profitable; a rise of 4 per cent in value means pastureland in England is worth £5,411/ acre on average. Overall, agricultural land prices have doubled since 2005. The rise in land prices reflects increased profitability of UK farming, particularly for arable crops. A good example of this is wheat, prices of which have risen 235 per cent since 2005, whilst arable land prices have increased 215 per cent over the same period.


Although the rise in value has benefitted farmers wishing to sell land, the lucrative position of agricultural land in England has attracted non-farming investors, who increasingly see farmland as an investment opportunity, Strutt and Parker revealed. Nevertheless, farmers were shown to have bought 63 per cent of the land sold in the first quarter of this year, though the number of lifestyle buyers also rose slightly.


Land in the South and East were shown to be most profitable, though land prices fell slightly in the South-East, with South West and Central England coming close and prices in the North trailing slightly. The estate agent’s Estate and Farm Agency Department predicted that land values will continue to rise this quarter, due in part to the reduced amount of land put on the market in the first quarter, amidst continued high demand.