The average value of bare agricultural land in England fell by 3% to a five-year low of £6,970/acre in 2018.
The 2019 farmland market has seen a busy start in some regions, but there is evidence of sellers playing a waiting game while political uncertainty remains.
Sales figures do not tell the whole story of what happened in the Yorkshire and Humber farmland market last year.
The average value of bare agricultural land in England and Wales fell by 3% during 2018 to £6,970 per acre, the first time it has dropped below £7,000 since the end of 2013, the latest index shows.
A sale of pasture that fetched £15,000/acre hints at the level of demand and competition for East Midlands farmland in 2018.
The average price of farmland in Scotland was unchanged in 2018, remaining at £4,271 per acre, but the market has varied according to the type of land being sold, the latest sector index shows.
Lifestyle buyers, investors and wealthy individuals have accounted for more than half of all farmland purchases for the first time ever, according to Strutt & Parker.
Some big prices were paid in the West Midlands in 2018, with one sale of arable land fetching £15,000/acre.
On paper, north-east England enjoyed an increase in supply in 2018 compared with the previous 12 months.
Supply has jumped after a quiet couple of years but values remain strong across the region.
Demand is outstripping supply in the south-east of England despite an increase in the number of acres marketed.
Thin supply and few completed sales at the larger end of the market are the two discernible trends from the land market in north-west England in 2018 so far.
Welsh farmland supply increased by 25% to the end of September, but data also shows a softening of values across the board.
Demand for farmland fell in the first half of 2018 and the outlook is for a further fall in prices, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) Rural Land Market Survey.
The level of interest from local farmers and strategic investors in farmland is proving to be the key to unlocking the strongest prices at auction.
Shrinking supply continues to typify the East Midlands farmland market, where the number of acres publicly marketed fell for the third year in a row in 2017.
A form of taxation based on land value will affect Scottish landowners, developers, forestry businesses and farmers if implemented.
A Scottish National Party decision to explore the potential for a land value tax could “set alarm bells ringing” among farmers, an opposition MSP has argued in parliamentary questions at Holyrood.
The UK's worth grew by the largest amount on record to reach £9.8tn at the end of last year, boosted by land value, which has grown "more than fivefold" since 1995, according to official data.
Combining the UK’s total assets, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the UK’s value increased by 8.9pc or £803bn between 2015 and 2016. The country’s net worth has risen steadily since 2012, following a course in line with pre-financial crisis conditions.
Average arable land values in England and Wales have slipped back to 2012 levels as a market correction in the eastern counties continues.
Carter Jonas says data from its transactions shows arable values at £8,967/acre – about 8% down on the same period last year.
Agents and other land professionals say a government adviser’s warning land prices could fall dramatically after Brexit show limited understanding of the land market.
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