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Lotting Proves Key To Land Sales In Central Belt

The past quarter has seen continued strong demand for land and farms in most parts of Scotland, with local knowledge and lotting of the land proving a key consideration to attract the maximum number of potential buyers.

Two of our recent sales in the central belt demonstrate how important it is to understand the market and to consider a sale in lots, with proper assessment of the aims of potential purchasers.

The first example was a productive block of agricultural land extending to about 125 acres, in an accessible location with a range of existing farm buildings.

We knew that the land had been marketed by another land agent for two years but had failed to sell. In our view, the previous agent had given little consideration to an appropriate division of the land and had not evaluated the potential demand for a smaller block of land from neighbouring farmers. Dividing the land into four lots opened it up to a wider pool of buyers.

The land went under offer at a closing date after six weeks, with offers from six different parties – all local farmers. The offers achieved were between 30% and 60% over the asking price, a very good outcome for the client.

The second example was a productive and compact mixed farm in Stirlingshire with good quality grade 3 land and planning permission to redevelop a farmhouse. The situation of the property, both in terms of its accessibility and its lovely views, added to the appeal.

We marketed the property for sale as a whole or in two lots. There was considerable interest in the whole property and in the two lots from amenity purchasers and farmers alike. We conducted 40 viewings in an intense six-week period and 16 offers were received at the closing date.

Both lots went under offer to local farmers, each offering 30 per centnc over the asking price.

Local knowledge is essential to realising the full potential of a sale. In some cases there is a significant price difference between two blocks of land of the same grade that are only a few miles from each other, due to other considerations such as accessibility or the local authority’s attitude to development.

Currently there is significant demand for land in Stirlingshire, priced and marketed correctly. This year’s harvest has been better than expected and lamb and beef prices have been strong, also breeding stock has proved exceptional this year. It is likely therefore that there will be farmers in a position to purchase neighbouring and local land to expand their business.

Those considering an exit strategy, or seeking to buy somewhere larger, should engage with their agent early in order to launch to the market in the prime selling period this year.