Looking back to look forward

As the year rapidly draws towards a conclusion, I have sat back and reflected on what has been a year of ups and downs (an understatement of some magnitude).

The rural property market has taken a dramatic leap forward, mainly due to urban buyers looking to escape the cities and enjoy a more rural and less ‘confined’ lifestyle as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. High competition amongst buyers has meant that there has been a shortage of property available and of sales agreed by Barbers Rural 75% have been sold at, or in excess of, the guide price. It will be interesting to see if the climb in prices is sustainable in 2022 or whether the property market eases back to the pre-covid levels. Either way any property launched early in the New Year is sure to receive unprecedented interest as those who sold late this year look to buy a replacement property.

The agricultural sector has certainly been at the forefront with the general public. The constant global transport troubles (road, air and sea) has disrupted the food supply chain. This has had a knock on effect on the shelves, with some food items having limited availability. The value of shopping local and supporting the home market is now more important than ever. Having spoken to farm shop owners and local butchers, the spike in demand during spring/summer 2020 has continued throughout 2021. Fingers crossed that this small shift in shopping habits continues.

The emergence of the popular series ‘Clarkson’s Farm’ has also kept the farming industry in the lime light. Whilst Jeremy Clarkson may (to some) have controversial views, it is also clear he has a passion for all things rural. The programme exposes farming, warts and all, to an audience who wouldn’t normally engage with agriculture. To me, this can only be a positive, as it will help to educate how crops are grown and where our food comes from.

The year has also seen a shift in holiday patterns. ‘Staycations’ have remained in 2021, despite the ability to go back abroad. Whether this is a short-term habit or a permanent shift, only time will tell. There has been a significant increase in farm diversification projects into the leisure sector, which is a strong indication land owners are looking to invest in their future and the sustainability of their business.

Whilst I am happy to draw a line under 2021 and the challenges it has bought, I am also looking forward to 2022 and working with those in the rural sector. We wish you a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2022.

If you require any help or advice relating to future projects you can contact Dan on d.bowden@barbers-rural.co.uk 

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