Farmland market shows no sign of slowing

 

After another year of Covid many agents feared that the pandemic might finally infect the land market, but so far the response has been one of immunity with only a very few exceptions. Whilst prices may not have romped away, they have, at the very least, remained stable with plenty of interest and ready, willing and able buyers. At Barbers Rural we have seen our busiest year ever in land and farm sales.

This last year has seen an increase in off-market transactions and whilst this remains in the minority, the number of transactions have become significant.  Very often this is associated with personal or financial pressures that sellers prefer to keep off the pages of the farming press. What is clear is that while some sectors have been very successful over the last two years, others have felt financial pressure and a small minority of farmers and landowners have been pushed into a sale as some traditional lenders have become less supportive. Sadly this is a trend that is likely to continue.

This might be a worry for the industry and for land prices if there were not so many others desperate to buy. The volume of transactions remains at an historic low. There is cash from those who are profitable, crucially from windfall development sales, which, in this part of the world, includes compulsory sales to Hs2. This means that there is no shortage of buyers for the limited amount of land and farms available.

For years commentators on the land market have been talking about a marketplace for carbon offsetting and for other forms of development offsetting and permitting development including flood alleviation. For so long this has only been just talk and at last we are seeing a real change. Over the last two years we have encountered interest and, in a few cases, actual sales to those seeking to land bank for carbon offsetting in relation to un-associated industries. This is likely to be an increasing trend, but it has interesting ramifications for the whole farming industry. There is already a requirement from some supermarkets for carbon offsetting within agriculture to meet their own green credentials. This will only increase with new legislation and buyers’ expectations, which means that if the farmland is being used to offset a carbon footprint created elsewhere, perhaps in manufacturing, it might not be able to be used for any significantly productive agricultural use.

If you require any help or advice you can contact Mike on m.taylor@barbers-rural.co.uk 

 

    We use cookies on our website to support technical features that enhance your user experience.

    We also use analytics & advertising services. To opt-out click for more information.