2011 Farming Review

7th December 2011

The 2011 farming market in Northumberland has been buoyant. The market has seen a wide range of successful sales ranging from small plots of land for purchase by equestrian and lifestyle users through the bare arable land, fully equipped arable farms and estates. The market has been dominated by farmers purchasing equipped holdings rather than non farming purchasers and investors. Interest appears to have faded somewhat from the city investor purchasers. Prices have remained strong with good quality arable land selling at £6,500 per acre with smaller amenity and lifestyle purchasers willing to pay well in excess of £10,000 per acre for smaller parcels.

The sale of Ryehill Farm at Rothbury by George F White LLP certainly was one of the most significant sales to go through in 2011 with significant interest from across the UK and overseas during marketing which resulted in a sale in excess of its guide price. Significant private sales have also been agreed with prices for large blocks of arable land making well in excess of £6,000 per acre.

Despite the financial attractions of farm and land ownership and the secure investment it presents in the current financial climate we still anticipate further farms coming to the market in 2012 and we certainly expect prices to remain strong. The historic lack of supply of good quality productive farms within Northumberland has certainly led to significant demand and competition within the market whenever quality holdings are available.

In 2012 we anticipate bare arable land and productive equipped holdings will be the most attractive for purchasers and will continue to sell with ease, particularly farms on the coastal belt from Berwick through to Alnwick and Newcastle and also the Tyne Valley.

Lifestyle farms and smallholdings are continuing to prove difficult to sell mainly as a result of the reduction in value of large suburban properties from which historically we have found purchasers to move out from cities such as Newcastle to purchase their ‘dream home in the country’.

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