Farm land sales and rentals in the North West are showing every sign that at least this part of the national economy is in good health – that is according to Thomas Armstrong, land agent with H&H Land and Property. He is reflecting on recent news that another parcel of land within the Kirby Stephen has sold for more than 50% of its guide price.
with H&H Land and Property
Looking at the market as a whole Thomas sees land values as benefiting from the generally weak economy as with low interest rates there is little return on savings.
Another reason which can be attributed to the buoyancy of land sales is the taxation system. In recent weeks our Company has seen several older buyers actively seeking to purchase land for the capital taxation benefits it offers, such as a 100% APR relief on inheritance tax.
David Thomlinson, auctioneer with H&H Land and Property, finds the confidence in this area of the rural economy heartening.
“Selling at a packed Public Auction, 27 acres of land at Soulby, sold for £265,000 against a guide price of £150,000, and 13 acres of land above Hartley Quarry sold for £31,000 against a guide price of £20,000 shows that demand is outstripping supply. We also sold Lane Farm in Newbiggin on Lune earlier in the year, which was sold within 5 days of being advertised. We have a number of people actively looking for farms and land in general”.
Interest in purchasing land is extremely competitive and the successful sales have been predominantly in stock rearing areas. David believes this is due to a returning confidence in the livestock sector, with the last 12 months seeing record prices for cull cows, store cattle, breeding ewes and prime stock.
This optimism is also visible in the lettings market; two recent sizeable farms put up for rent resulted in a large number of applicants competing for the tenancies. A 600 acre farm in the Eden Valley was available in various lots of agricultural land and with two farm steadings; this was let as a whole to a livestock farmer. A second farm let on a 10 year Farm Business Tenancy was one of the most competitive that the Company has ever seen.
The tenders received for both supported the confidence which is visible in the livestock sector with 90% of tenders coming from livestock farmers.
To conclude, Thomas says,
“The competition is tough for both investors and farmers. Confidence in the agricultural economy has led to many farmers here in the North of England looking to increase the size of their holdings. In addition to increasing their acreage, by improving economies of scale they can reduce their overheads. For those purchasing land as an investment there is the opportunity to farm the land through the use of contractual arrangements, which provides additional farmland to the market”.
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