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Land Market 2019/2020

Since H2 2018 the RICS Rural Land Market Survey has not been produced due to it no longer being ‘on a sustainable footing in terms of sample size’

In 2019, the average bare agricultural land in England and Wales was ~£7000 p/ac, about 3% lower than it was 12 months earlier, and 5% down over five years. The percentage of buyers made up of individual farmers was about 54%, a drop of just over 10%. The percentage purchased by individual farmers has been within 10% of that level for the past decade.

By Q1 2020, we have seen virtually no change on the average bare land price, from what it was two months ago. Brexit is still not decided and exactly what that means for future farming incomes is unclear. Although there was a modest bounce of mood following the election result, Covid-19 has effectively put the land and property market mostly in limbo. While a few properties are being advertised, lockdown has essentially stopped viewings, surveys, and sales progress.

So what will dictate land values going forward?

Location is still going to remain the single most important factor, but on the strictly commercial farming side the price range will be significant. Interest in additional income streams for investors in land income property over and above the underlying agricultural business have shown more influence in recent years whether renewables, letting of agricultural businesses etc. Going forward there will be the question of public money for public goods.

Source: Farmer’s Weekly