Shropshire Star

Report highlights increase in value of Shropshire farmland

Farmland totalling 9,335 acres was publicly marketed in the West Midlands in the first nine months of this year and values are up, according to research.

Rhydian Scurlock-Jones

This compares to 6,377 acres to the same period in 2022, 7,341 acres to the end of September 2021 and 6,764 acres being marketed during the same period in 2020, according to the report from rural property agents, Savills.

Of the land marketed this year, 4,815 acres were in Shropshire, 1,307 acres in Herefordshire, 1,292 in Worcestershire, 1,051 in Warwickshire and 871 in Staffordshire.

Rhydian Scurlock-Jones, who leads the rural agency team for Savills in the West Midlands and is based in the firm’s Telford office, said the amount of farmland being openly marketed could increase again next year as farmers make more informed decisions about the future of their business.

“We are already seeing pipelines start to build for next year, which suggests that supply is likely to increase again in 2024,” he said. “The agricultural transition is progressing and it is now clearer what the new agri-environment schemes such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive will require or incentivise – and the degree of financial reward these will provide,” he added.

“Consequently, farmers can now make more informed decisions about the future of their business and property, which in some instances may involve retirement and sale. Looking ahead, an early launch may be the best approach to take advantage of current high levels of interest and demand.”

Average farmland values in the West Midlands have also continued to increase year on year across almost all land types, according to the latest research from Savills.

Quarterly analysis, which looks at publicly marketed farmland across Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire shows that during the first three quarters of 2023, the average value of prime arable land in the West Midlands rose by 5.4 per cent to £10,400 per acre. This compares to an increase of 2.5 per cent for prime arable land across Great Britain, sitting at £10,200 per acre on average.

Mr Scurlock-Jones said a number of factors were impacting values and they remain highly localised.

“There is a lot of variation depending on location, land grade and farm type,” he said. “For some, farmland competition is also beginning to weaken where the pool of buyers has reduced following acquisitions by those with rollover relief funds and as investors take advantage of guaranteed rates of return from bank interest rather than less predictable alternative investments. However prices are still up on last year.”

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