Spring Brings a Bounce to the Rural Property Market

A traditional Spring uplift to demand and prices as buyers seek land for new purposes including energy generation, dream building or dog walking.

Industry figures (Rightmove) show that the UK property market has shown an increase in the average price of newly marketed properties of 1.5%, the largest amount in 10 months, and buyer demand is now 8% higher than this time last year.

Spring and Easter in particular is the time of year when there are not just green shoots and growth in the garden but also in the property market, and we are seeing a distinct rise this year in demand for land and rural property, and consequently also in prices.

We are incredibly fortunate to be asked to market rural properties in some of the most beautiful and sought-after locations in the UK, where demand will always inevitably outstrip supply. That makes a buoyant market very rewarding for sellers, and we encourage anyone considering the sale of their land to fully explore the various options for methods of sale.

We are finding very strong demand for land for investment, farming and environmental purposes, but we’re also bringing an increasing number of properties to the market that offer buyers the opportunity to fulfil a life-changing dream. We have been able to offer several blocks of amenity land and two lovely blocks of woodland for sale this month within the Lake District National Park, and an 8-acre smallholding with Grade II listed farmhouse and two holiday lets with wonderful views across Morecambe Bay near Cartmel.

Land values have always been relatively resilient and in recent years land has been seen as a rewarding investment, and currently we are seeing this demand continuing to push prices. Some of this demand is driven by farmers looking for opportunities to increase their acreage and diversify to counteract the shift in funding support from the Single Farm Payment and BPS to the new SFI environmentally-focused support schemes.

Many of the environmental grants actually favour land that is not suitable for farming, for example, so properties with that kind of land are now attracting far more interest and a much wider range of buyers. Similarly, land suitable for subsidised projects such as renewable energy generation or battery storage is now fetching higher prices, and we know of at least one sale of land that will be turned into a secure dog walking centre. Its location and public accessibility made it virtually worthless for farming. Now it has a whole new amenity value that would never have been imagined a few years ago.

Land in the right location has always been in the highest demand, particularly here in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and we are bringing a growing number of properties to the market this Spring for sale both by private treaty and by auction. Buyers are clearly willing to pay well for the right property.

We have just sold at auction an 18-acre block of excellent quality grazing and mowing land located on the edge of the Lake District National Park at Helton, five miles from Penrith, and it sold extremely well far above the guide price of £225,000.

I expect that further blocks of bare land to be sold at auction in the coming months around Penrith will meet a similar level of demand.

We will shortly be offering a 40-acre smallholding at Ackenthwaite with a really amazing vista, and a 140-acre farm at Orton with a large farmhouse and views across to the Howgill Fells. All our indications tell us that sellers are growing in confidence that this market will continue to rise.

As specialists in land auctions in the area, we see that bare land seems to sell better by auction than it does by private treaty, but our experience tells us every rural property should be brought to the market on its own unique merits to maximise its value, whether that value ultimately lies in farming, dream-building or even dog walking.

Considering sellingt your farm, land or rural property? Contact your local H&H office: 

  •  North Lakes - 01228 406260
  •  South Lakes - 01539 721375
  •  North East - 0191 370 8530
  •  North Yorkshire - 01609 710377
  •  Hexham - 01434 303615