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Strong demand for farmland is continuing - with robust levels of activity across East Anglia for both public and private sales and notable increases... Demand remains strong for eastern region farmland

Strong demand for farmland is continuing – with robust levels of activity across East Anglia for both public and private sales and notable increases in value for amenity land

The amount of farmland publicly marketed across the region fell 2% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2020, according to land agents Savills. But much farmland is being marketed privately

Across Great Britain, the supply of publicly marketed farmland rose 58% during the first half of 2021 compared to the same period last year, says Gi D’Angibau, who leads the rural agency team for Savills in Essex. 

Meanwhile, the overall average value of agricultural land has increased 1.7% during the last six months. But there are variations across the region depending on location and type of land.

Market details

“There is more to the market than meets the eye,” says Ms D’Angibau.

“The data tracks publicly marketed acres, but we know from our involvement that the private market continues to account for a large proportion of the farms and estates transacted, building on the trend seen last year. 

Some vendors are choosing to market privately where there is a likelihood of special buyers or they have particular reasons to do so.

“The private market also remains popular for high profile farms and estates where both the vendor and potential purchasers value privacy. However it can often be prudent to set a time limit for such deals so buyers remain focused.”

Significant rural estates to hit the market this year include Hill Farm in Martlesham which is now under offer, Clees Hall in Bures; Broxted Hall, near Dunmow; and Green and Wick Farms, near Thetford.

Some 276 acres of productive arable land, grazing meadows and woodland have also gone under offer at Old Hall Farm in Burgh-next-Aylsham, near Norwich. Meanwhile, 478 acre Munches Farms has a guide price in excess of £4m in Hertfordshire.

There are a number of buyers with rollover funds to invest and commercial farmers seeking quality farms, says Ms D’Angibau. However amenity buyers are also driving the market.  

“The lack of supply over the last couple of years means there is an accumulating number of active buyers competing for farmland,” she says.

“The impact of this is that, generally, values are holding firm or showing slight increases with some exceptional prices for top quality farms. However, a two-tier market is evident in some areas, with significant price differences between the best and the rest.”