Market Overview: Continued Demand for Rural Land

Market Overview: Continued Demand for Rural Land

Demand for land remains high across the rural property spectrum, from standalone, working farms right through to small parcels and pony paddocks.

In coastal Angus, prime arable land can reach up to £20,000 per acre, reflecting the area’s high yielding soils for crops, fruit and vegetables. Secondary arable and temporary grassland prices have seen slight increases over the last two years, while poorer quality parcels remain stable.

While there’s been a decrease in land brought to the open market, private deals continue as neighbours are quietly approached and take up what may be a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to buy the land next door. Interestingly, estates like The Crown are selling to sitting tenants, boosting owner occupation and further reducing areas held under tenancy.

The Scottish estate market has seen private deals continuing, though natural capital buyers and forestry investment companies are quieter compared to a few years ago, with the heat in the market not quite what it was in 2023. Political factors are influencing traditional Scottish sporting estates, with deer management requirements, Muirburn limitations, and the potential for grouse shoot licenses affecting freedom of ownership.

Stalking estates are adapting to increasing deer numbers, with good larder facilities becoming essential. On the rivers, poor catches exacerbated by drier summers in some areas could impact salmon values and rental figures for fishing estates.

Forestry, as always, still offers tax benefits, but demand for new planting land has slowed, leading to reduced prices from the highs of 2022. Significant delays in approval processes in Scotland are affecting initial cash flows, while existing commercial woodland properties remain in demand, albeit with declining values. The future will see more stable returns than the highs of recent years for both the forest asset and the timber produced. At a local level, small amenity woods remain popular and increasingly community purchases reflect the general population’s interest in nature.

In the North of England, land values remain relatively steady, with ongoing activity across the region. It is certainly fair to say that higher UK interest rates and economic uncertainties globally have tempered premiums over guide prices across all sectors of the property market in the UK.

Our people

Sarah Tyson

Sarah Tyson

Partner, FRICS FAAV
Rural Land Management
Tel: 01738 621 121

About: Sarah is an experienced rural property surveyor dealing with all types of valuations, renewable energy, estate management and property consultancy across Scotland . She is an Appointed Agent and Valuer for the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation providing competitive finance for farmers and landowners. Interests: AMC Services, Renewable Energy, Rural Land Management, Valuations, FRICS FAAV Registered Valuer.

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