In the opinion of Tony Rimmer, Director of Rostons, while the heat has gone out of the market generally, demand is stronger than ever for the right parcels of land. The Cheshire average is holding steady at £8,000 to £10,000 per acre – and in a number of locations £10,000 to £15,000 can be readily achieved.
Somewhat surprisingly this improved land value has not lead to a rush of land, or indeed whole farms, coming to the market.
Tony Rimmer said: “This is probably due to the opportunities that exist for those retiring from farming to remain in the farmhouse and involved in an element of farming for the taxation benefits that flow.
“The recent Council holdings sold publically have sold well but there have only been a limited number of purchasers, which has pushed the values.
“Certainly talk among selling agents was not that there was substantial interest, but there was a handful of serious interest. The size of these farms meant they were suited as second units and both units that were sold publically have become second units.”
Tony has been heavily involved in these public sales acting for potential purchasers, as well as managing a number of private purchases by existing tenants wanting to buy their units.
The key issue for any of these existing tenants that wish to purchase is to ensure their business has been profitable in recent years and that they have a suitable “war chest” to put down as the deposit. If you are not in this position it becomes very difficult to get funding from the banks.
Looking forward, due to the changes with the Single Farm Payment regime to Basic Payment Scheme, together with the current relatively buoyant and confident industry, it is unlikely that there will be huge amount of land coming to the market.
What is very much sought after however are 300 to 500 acre dairy units in Cheshire, for which there are a number of potential purchasers.
If you are thinking of selling or want to review your options, then please contact Tony Rimmer for an informal discussion.