Farmland market shows strength in face of pre-election slowdown 

The latest Farmland Index launched by global property consultancy Knight Frank has revealed that, despite pre-election uncertainty, the average value of bare agricultural land in England and Wales has reached a new record high of £9,335 per acre in the second quarter of 2024.  

Latest Farmland Index launched by Knight Frank revealed that average value of bare agricultural land in England and Wales reached new record.

Knight Frank said that the latest data shows a 0.9% increase from the previous quarter and a significant 5.5% rise over the past 12 months. 

The report revealed that farmland values have increased by 32.8% over the past five years and 24.2% over the last decade, highlighting the strong long-term performance of this asset class.  

The 5.5% annual growth in farmland values outperforms other property classes, including prime central London residential, which saw a decrease of 2.4%, and the wider UK housing market, which experienced a modest growth of 2.3%. 

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Factors influencing market 

According to Knight Frank, while the UK general election caused some investors to pause their property plans, the farmland market remains robust from a supply and demand perspective.  

The volume of land for sale has increased compared to 2023 but remains at historically low levels, with under 50,000 acres coming to market by the end of June. 

Will Matthews, head of Farms & Estates at Knight Frank, said: “It is becoming increasingly hard to say how much farmland will sell for because the prices we are achieving vary so widely.  

“There are so many factors influencing the market, from tax planning to environmental aspirations, that every parcel of land or farm that comes up for sale exists in its own microclimate that will determine its value to the eventual purchaser.” 

“For example, we have recently sold a very large block of land for over £20,000/acre and a smaller, but still sizeable, holding for around £45,000/acre. 

“Conversely, some blocks have sold for closer to £10,000. It’s generally a given that property markets tend to slow down in the run up to big political events and this general election has proved to be no different with potential buyers and vendors sitting on their hands. What impact the change of government might have on the farmland market remains to be seen.” 

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