The number of farms put up for sale in the south-west of England increased in 2023, but demand still outstripped supply.

Agents report a strengthening of buyer interest from investors, natural capital investment companies and lifestyle buyers, but farmers remained strong competitors. That competing demand helped to preserve farmland values in the region. In a trend seen in other parts of the UK, the market for larger commercial farms in the South West was particularly strong. However, residential farm buyers, who had to factor in higher interest rates and building costs, were more selective.

Land market to remain resilient in 2024

Top-quality farms and productive parcels of bare land generated a large amount of interest in 2023

There were competitive bidding situations because, although there were more farms launched onto the market than in the previous year, demand still exceeded supply.

Smaller blocks of bare pasture and arable land or water meadows generated high levels of interest from a wide range of buyers, often being sold for more than the guide price.

There remain in 2024 plenty of cash buyers able to proceed, from several different areas and backgrounds, and looking for large commercial farms and blocks of bare farmland.

The typical residential farm of approximately 100 acres with outbuildings set within a ring fence is also in high demand, and farms with diversification and development potential also catch the eye of buyers.

There are plenty of uncertainties and challenges ahead, but the demand for land will remain strong in 2024, and top-quality farms will still create high levels of interest and achieve good prices.

© Woolley & Wallis 2024

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