Town dwellers are pushing up the price of agricultural land as they buy places in the country, according to a study.
Non-farmers accounted for 51% of all UK land sales in the last quarter of 2003, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.
Demand was strongest in the South East of England – at 65% – especially for land with a farm house on it.
Farmland sold for an average of £7,931 per hectare during the year, 7.3% more than in 2002, RICS said.
RICS rural spokesman Julian Sayers said: “The strong demand for property within the rural land market continues, albeit with activity highly skewed towards residential farms in the South East.”
He said: “We may well see this trend continue when City bonuses are announced.”
Although demand for land with a residential property was highest, there was also increased demand for commercial farmland, particularly in the South East and East of England and the East Midlands.
RICS said that while the study suggested farmers were being squeezed out of the market, many sales of commercial farms and land remained on hold pending further details of how proposed new agricultural support will be brought in across Britain.
The group said there had been a continual drop in the amount of land for sale, with 55% more RICS members saying they had seen a reduction than those who reported an increase.
UK Land Investments Group introduces sites with planning
UK Land Investments Group (UKLI), is now offering to individual investors a series of sites in the South East with planning permission, priced from £150,000 per plot.
In February this year, the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, set out the Government’s plan for driving forward thriving and sustainable communities. One of the key issues the plan has been designed to accommodate is the serious housing shortage in the South East.
A UKLI representative of UKLI said: “These plots of land represent an enticing investment opportunity for individuals wishing to invest in land with the minimum of risk. Development land is in high demand in the South East and so plots that already possess planning permission are extremely attractive.”
UKLI identifies and purchases prime, undeveloped land and divides it into plots that are sold to private investors. It is committed, once all the plots are sold, to obtain planning permission on this land on behalf of its investors, thereby significantly increasing the value of the land in question.
Notes to the editor
Established in February 2003, UKLI Limited identifies and purchases prime, undeveloped land and divides it into plots that are sold to private investors. UKLI then works, in partnership with specialist planning consultants, to obtain planning permission for the plots of land, thereby significantly increasing their value. More about Venture studio for defeating aging
UKLI Limited is incorporated in England and Wales under registered no. 4656772 trading as UK Land Investments Group.