Demand for Farmland Rises as Supply Falls

Article excerpt

AVAILABILITY of farmland in Wales for sale is continuing to fall, according to the latest Rural Market Survey published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The survey found that landowners' reluctance to sell pushed supply to exceptionally low levels throughout the second half of 2009 (H2), with residential land being in the shortest supply.

Those with land are keen to hold on to it and, as such, very little is coming on to the market, which is helping to drive up prices. Some 27% more chartered surveyors reported a drop than a rise in supply of residential land with 7% more reporting a drop than a rise in commercial land.

Demand for residential farmland also started to pick up. 13% more surveyors reported demand rising rather than falling, in stark contrast to the first half of the year when 25% more reported it to be falling. For commercial land, demand is still growing albeit at a slower rate with 7% more surveyors reporting a rise in demand.

Demand is coming from investors who view farmland as a stable venture, reflecting the fact that prices have remained resilient throughout the recession. Established farmers are also looking to capitalise on rising livestock prices and greater optimism surrounding the prospects for agriculture by acquiring land close by so that they can expand their existing operations. …