As we start a new decade, it was hoped that this year the topic of conversation was going to be about the weather and Brexit. Sadly, both of those topics have been forgotten whilst we as a country, deal with the awful and concerning dreadful effects of Covid-19. It just puts everything perspective..
Everything has been effectively put on pause since 23rd March and in some respects, this goes for the agricultural land Market in the North West, prior to March we were seeing a signs of a strong land market which followed a successful end of 2019. –Here at Armitstead Barnett we had marketed and sold over 1500 acres of Agricultural land in Lancashire and Cumbria in 2019, both on the market and off market privately. Most buyers interestingly had been from existing farming businesses keen to increase their land holdings. The North West has the full range of land quality from some of the best Grade 1 multi-cropping horticultural soils to the wilds of the upland moors. In terms of values, there is a huge swing between the highest and lowest but £6,000 -£10,000 per acre covers the main range of sales, but with notable sales well above (and below) this range.
The uncertainty of Brexit, future trading positions and commodity prices doesn’t seem to delay or deter some farmer’s decisions and we fully expect the Farm and bare land market to continue where it left off in March, we already have instructions to market whole farms and various blocks of bare land as soon as we have freedom of movement and is safe and sensible to do so.
What’s the forecast into later 2020? – probably something very similar prior to March, well placed productive fertile blocks of land will continue to meet strong demand, the test will be in the more marginal upland areas and secondary land sectors which are dominated by beef and sheep farmers, who might not have the same appetite for acquiring land.