Green grass landscape with hills in the background.

Land Sales Spring Back to Life

Despite the wet and windy start to the year, we have had a strong performance in land sales for the first quarter with strong prices paid at auction.

The launch of land for sale this Spring has been handicapped somewhat by the persistent wet weather, but the success of our recent auctions at the end of March has demonstrated the strength of the demand for land of all types across the North West.

On March 27th, the 1.93 acre Old Cricket Field in Bardon sold for £122,000 at auction in Kendal Town Hall, more than double the £60,000 upper guide price, and slightly more than that figure per acre. In the same auction, a total of 19.39 acres of meadow and grazing land at Simgill Farm, Grayrigg, sold in four lots for a total of £278,000, over £30,000 more than the upper guide price, at an average of nearly £14,400 per acre.

While 2023 saw supply in England exceed 100,000 acres for the first time there were relatively few opportunities to purchase good quality, commercial scale blocks of land, equipped farms, which are the most sought-after properties. This has created some pent-up demand in the market which is being frustrated by the weather. We have had to delay several Spring 2024 launches as some vendors are preferring to hold back their sales until the land has dried up and conditions improved.

At the same time, although higher interest rates towards the end of 2023 reduced the buying power of farmers keen to extend their landholdings, we are now seeing cautious optimism from prospective purchasers and their lenders. However, we do expect a high level of competitive interest in the farms we are bringing to the market this Spring and Summer.

We currently have a number of farm and smallholdings waiting to be launched in the South Cumbria area, including an approximately 140-acre farm, a 114-acre farm, and a very attractive 40-acre smallholding. We are also launching in the coming weeks, sizeable farms in the Eden Valley and near Brampton on the Cumbria/Northumberland border.

On a regular basis we are also involved in many off-market sales of land, ranging from 5 to 130 acres. The frequency of these off-market sales has increased of late, but this does not suit every property or vendor. So to ascertain the best possible route of sale which will achieve the optimum sale price and match your other requirements, whether that be funding for onward purchases, or retaining value in land to be kept, it is always best to speak with your land agent.