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Demand from Forest Investors Keeps 2014 Trading Busy

This year’s Forest Market Report, released by UPM Tilhill on Tuesday 25th November, reveals that 2014 was the second busiest year for the last 17 years.

Jason Sinden, Head of Investment and Property for UPM Tilhill, explains: “2014 was another busy year for forestry property sales. However, compared to 2013, there was a shortage of prime quality forests and it appears that sellers used the strength of the market to profitably dispose of lower quality properties.

Jason Sinden, Head of Investment and Property for UPM Tilhill

Jason Sinden, Head of Investment and Property for UPM Tilhill

“Scotland dominates the commercial forestry market and the independence referendum caused a brief pause in activity.  However, following the ‘No’ vote, there has been such a flurry of transactions and we already predict that 2015 will set a new record.”

Also good news for investors is the continuation of timber price increases and a confident and robust timber processing industry.

The period covered by the report (from October 2013 up to September 2014) saw £82.85 million of forest property traded. This equates to a 15 per cent reduction on the total market size in 2013 but shows a continuation of the longer-term trend, since 2008, of a rising total market size.

Sale prices continue to exceed guide prices, with the average difference increasing since 2013 to around 23 per cent. In England around 17 per cent of transactions are private, off-market sales compared to 21 per cent in Scotland and 8 per cent in Wales.

The dominance of the Scottish market has increased further, accounting for around 77 per cent of the total value traded despite some transactions being delayed until after the Independence referendum.

Most of the forests being traded today were originally planted between the 1960s and the late 1980s and contain predominantly Sitka spruce.

UPM Tilhill is always pleased to hear from individuals or companies who are considering investing in forestry. The company’s team of Woodland Investment Advisers helps customers buy, sell, manage or harvest timber and get the best from their forest regardless of the size or location and offers a full acquisition service and a seedling to harvester management.

UPM Tilhill, established more than 60 years ago, is a national company operating from a network of offices throughout the UK. It is the UK’s largest forest management and timber harvesting company.


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