Farm land a good investment

AGRICULTURAL land should be top of the list for anyone looking for a ‘safe’ investment, says land and estate agency firm Strutt & Parker.

Escalating global consumption and a dwindling food supply are just some of the reasons why farmland is a safe bet, illustrated by an increase in the value of farms and estates in Northumberland and the Borders by between 10 and 14 per cent in the last year.

Claire Whitfield, head of farm and estate sales in the north of England for Strutt & Parker, said: “Many premium farms and estates in Northumberland and the Borders have risen in value by between 10 and 14 per cent in the last year, making this autumn an ideal time to bring property to the market.

“The region has seen several diverse properties enter the market since the spring which has added to a successful 18-month period in which Strutt & Parker sold 61 per cent of all farms and estates marketed in the area equating to more than £30million worth of property.”

The livestock market has also seen the launch of several strong properties such as Canada Farm, at Longframlington, a first class Northumbrian livestock and arable farm, said Mrs Whitfield. The 556-acre farm has a guide price of £2.75million. With rising livestock commodity prices and optimism in the market, the farm has seen interest from a diverse number of purchasers.

Mrs Whitfield said: “The harsh winter meant that property was slow to come to the market in the early months of 2011 and the first six months saw a 16 per cent drop in the land available, compared to the first part of 2010.

“However, demand has remained high. In the first three months of the year, cash buyers from outside the region with a total of £66million to spend set their sights on the North East as a place to invest their money. Many of these buyers are still looking.

“We are advising a growing number of investors interested in purchasing UK farmland. The future looks bright and we are optimistic about the coming months. ”