Death, debt, downsizing and divorce have been identified by Savills, as the main reasons for selling land in the UK. However debt is the main reason why people sell land and has continued to dominate.
Lenders are not taking any chances either with debt and are scrutinising their customers’ history and ability to pay off the money before they agree to lend.
Richard Binning, Rural Director, stated: “Investors and corporate funds, including Oxbridge Colleges and pension funds, are keen on long-term investment vehicles: sizeable parcels of land, preferably with a built-in uplift in value, such as an expiring tenancy or development potential.”
Savills has also reported that the amount of land for sale was down slightly at the end of July, but the number of buyers remained strong. Speaking of the market, Alex Lawson, Director of London Farms and Estates, put across: “We are seeing a two-tier market. The £10,000/ac sales grab the headlines but are at odds with the many [sales] that achieve their guide prices or less. This can flatter the market and expectations must be balanced with reality.”
“Some of the froth has come off the market. That’s not surprising; the incredible growth of the past three to five years was always going to slow. Overall, the market is positive. Unless we see major changes to the government’s tax plans,” Mr Lawson added.
However land continues to be a safe bet for investors, according to Strutt & Parker who are a land and estate agency. Claire Whitfield, Head of Estate and Farm Sales in North England, stated: “Many premium farms and estates in Northumberland and the Borders have risen in value by between 10 and 14 per cent in the last year, making this autumn an ideal time to bring property to the market.”
“We have sold 61 per cent of all farms and estates marketed in the region in the last 18 months which equates to £32.4million worth of property. It is interesting to see that the profile of buyers in the area has recently changed substantially, with more than 60 per cent of land sold in the region in the last five years going to purchasers from outside the region,” Ms Whitfield added.