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'Farmland prices edging up' – Knight Frank

The average price of bare agricultural land in England has continued to increase over the past few months, according to Knight Frank.

The firm says average values rose by 2.6% between April and June this year, representing the tenth consecutive quarter of growth.

Values have now risen by 33%, equivalent to £2,050 per acre, since the end of 2012, standing at a record high of 8,265 per acre.

Despite average prices almost trebling in the past decade, Knight Frank says that the market is becoming increasingly complex in terms of valuing specific blocks of land with price variations growing at both the national and local level.

“Valuing farmland now requires extreme scrutiny of the local market and its driving factors as well as a view of how the property might sit in the national marketplace. With land prices being a record high, commodity prices significantly lower than 12 months ago, and input costs remaining high, the market we believe will take stock for a period,” comments Clive Hopkins, Head of Knight Frank Farms and Estates.

In Scotland, the average price of farmland increased by 0.5% in the first half of the year. 

Knight Frank says that the modest growth should be viewed in the context of significant political events over the past year, including the Scottish independence referendum and the SNP's success in May's general election.

“For a market to remain firm in the face of such uncertainty shows a high degree of resilience,” says Tom Stewart-Moore, Head of Knight Frank Scottish Farms. “We are seeing particularly strong demand for good quality arable land, while hill land still offers a number of attractive forestry and renewable energy options for investors, despite the winding back of support payments for on-shore wind farms.”

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