October Ponderings - 2021

October Professional Ponderings

With many changes afoot within the agricultural industry, including the introduction of ELMs, BPS payment reductions, lump sum payments, and development opportunities, we often get asked about the current land market and how it is likely to change.

 

We are witnessing farmers increasingly competing with non-agricultural buyers for land, as conservation, climate change, additional income streams and lifestyle buyers, continue to drive the agricultural land market. We have seen that the pandemic has accelerated a move towards home working and increased demand for outdoor space. This has meant that rural property is now viewed as a desirable lifestyle asset both for living and with demand for increased outdoor area to enjoy free time. This demand has impacted upon the prices paid for rural residential property, parcels of amenity/paddock land, as well as small farms. We have been busy preparing Market Appraisals and receiving instructions to market land of varying acreages and demand still remains strong. Land values have remained steady and are ultimately very much dependent upon the nature of the property, the location, and the demand in the area at the time. As well as land brought to the open market, we continue to be busy assisting clients with a number of private sales, where we have been instructed to act for sellers and in other situations where we have negotiated on behalf of the successful purchasers. We have retained clients actively looking to buy land, so if you are considering the possibility of selling your property, whether it be a small parcel of land or a large farm, please do contact a member of the Agricultural Team and we would be very happy to discuss this with you. Alternatively, where you are looking to acquire rural property, please do ensure we know of your requirements, in order that we can keep you informed when suitable property becomes available. 

 

If you are contemplating a change in your farming business, it is also worth considering the proposed changes to BPS. In 2022, DEFRA will offer farmers in England who wish to exit the industry a lump sum payment of up to £100,000. This would replace any further direct BPS payments to the recipient during the remainder of the agricultural transition. The detail is still awaited however, this could contribute to owner-occupier and tenant retirements becoming more common which could lead to more land coming onto the market, through sales and new tenancies, as farmers retire and businesses restructure to meet new opportunities. We are hoping to hear more from DEFRA on this matter later this month, so please do keep an eye on any updates in the Market Report and we would be pleased to discuss this with you.

 

To continue to support farmers through changing times we have strengthened the Agricultural Team with the appointment of Rob Russell, who will join Bletsoes as an Agri Business Consultant in early November. Rob comes from a Northamptonshire farming family and has a wealth of agricultural experience and we look forward to introducing him to you. Rob’s work will include management of farming arrangements, strategic business advice, budgeting and cashflow, BPS and Mid-Tier.

 

We were very pleased to see many familiar faces on our stand at the Gransden Show recently and we are starting to book places for Bletsoes to attend a range of Agricultural Shows across the counties in 2022. We very much hope that our usual trade show attendance will resume next year. Following a number of recent on-farm auctions, where excellent prices have been achieved, the Auction team continue to secure instructions for Machinery Dispersal Sales. We look forward to seeing you at a Farm Machinery Sale or at the Fatstock Shows over the forthcoming months, as all these events are a great opportunity to catch up with those familiar faces, that you perhaps haven’t seen for some time.

 

Verity Garlick

Chartered Surveyor

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