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Healthy Demand For Farms And Land Continues, With Arable Land Particularly Prized

Land agent Galbraith reports that farms and farmland in Scotland and Northern England continue to be in demand despite the political uncertainty in recent months. 

A number of the units launched at the start of the summer have gone to closing date and have attracted competing bids.

Duncan Barrie, partner at Galbraith who leads the firm’s National Farm Sales Centre said:

The value of farmland in general has remained stable, but the gap between the best arable which still commands a premium and more moderate arable land is not showing any signs of closing. The more marginal pasture and upland hill grazing ground continues to be underpinned by forestry interests on the basis the land is suitable for planting for woodland, and we have also seen environmental/ amenity type purchasers enter the market for larger areas of grazing and hill ground. 

In general the larger fully equipped farming units and productive blocks of bare agricultural land within sought after areas are selling well; with buyers being either local farmers wishing to expand their holding and benefit from economies of scale or farmers relocating elsewhere in Scotland or the rest of the UK. 

In comparison to last year, we have seen a dip in the number of units come to the market this year, which has helped to maintain demand and values, but we are due to bring a number of new land parcels of land to the market as we head into the autumn months. 

The availability and access to finance for agricultural businesses remains competitive with many of the larger banks keen and willing to provide a loan to facilitate a farm purchase at historically low interest rates.  As a result many farmers are taking the decision to invest in a neighbouring holding and spread the cost over the medium or long-term, and in some instances locking in low rates over a longer period of time. 

Interest in the livestock and dairy farms is now competing with demand for low ground land for forestry use, particularly due to the interesting forestry grants available, and long-term tax incentives. Galbraith has seen a number of farmers reconsider their farming operations to combine agro-forestry schemes within a holding. Duncan continued:

The smallholding and amenity land market is one of the most buoyant sectors, and this has a huge impact on the lotting of a farm in order that we can facilitate these interests. It is often the only option for some of the smaller livestock and dairy farms within central Scotland.  The type of buyer does vary, but generally they are from a more urban area, and are seeking to acquire a larger house and buildings with the privacy afforded by a few acres of land to enable a more rural lifestyle. We have also experienced buyers looking to acquire a smaller unit for use as business premises.

Galbraith, one of the UK’s most respected land agents, has brought 4,328 acres of farmland and farms to the market in Scotland in the past two months, valued in excess of £22.5m. In the last year Galbraith has marketed 25,000 acres of agricultural land across Scotland and Northern England.

Two of the farming units recently brought to the market through Galbraith include:

Gowmacmorran Farm, a productive dairy farm in an accessible part of South Lanarkshire, with over 270 acres of land and an extensive range of traditional and modern farm buildings. Offers over £1m for the whole or available in seven lots.

Carpow Farmhouse and Lands at Carpow and Mugdrum, including a traditional farmhouse, offering wonderful views over the Firth of Tay and the Sidlaw Hills, plus up to 110 acres of high-quality arable land and areas of woodland. Offers over £995,000 for the whole or in three separate lots.