Agricultural Market Keeps COVID Slowdown at Bay
Buoyancy in land trading sees buyers capitalise on low interest rates with agricultural confidence still strong
Despite ominous warnings, it seems the agricultural land and property market is holding up, even registering increasing interest from a range of buyers. H&H Land & Estates, working as Agents to the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) in specialist farming finance, report a rapidly rising number of enquiries relating to land purchases and have now provided professional AMC advice to our 1000th business. Given the context of the lowest ever interest rates, so far the market for farms seems to be remaining strong.
Jonathan Hird, a Chartered Surveyor at H&H Land & Estates based in Carlisle, comments on the current trends:
“We have not yet seen an impact on land transactions from COVID-19, and in fact we never stopped trading. What we have noticed is a significant increase in buyers interested in farms and parcels of land, whether looking to launch a new farming enterprise or extend acreages.
“With interest rates at an all time low, a range of agricultural property has been brought to market at a time when there is no short supply of interested parties. It is also a sign that agriculture is considered a safe investment in these uncertain times.”
The registered growth in enquiries for land indicates a continuing trend, since COVID-19 first landed on our shores six months ago. It has seen rural and agricultural opportunities attract an explosion in attention, especially in more isolated and rural locations in the North. At the forefront of this, has been H&H, working as an AMC agent with boots on the ground in terms of delivering assistance to clients who want to invest in agricultural assets.
Here Jonathan, a contact agent for AMC at H&H Land & Estates, offers some advice:
“Through our relationship with AMC we’ve been able to offer competitive and reliable support to clients who have been keen to find financing opportunities in farming and rural business activities. AMC provides funding for a range of agricultural purposes such as: land purchase, re-financing, diversification, erecting new buildings, obtaining new stock, buying a farm as a sitting tenant, purchasing new equipment and machinery and even renovating existing structures. The loans are destined for business opportunities only, but there is a clear indication that when compared to other parts of the economy, farming is a sector brimming with confidence at the moment. It’s a safe bet in terms of delivering tangible investment prospects.”
While in the past land trading was known to be driven by seasonal highs and lows, H&H indicate that this is no longer the case. In the digital and 24-hour information age, farm and land plots are no longer just typically brought to market in the spring. That is why, heading into autumn, the market is indicating no signs of a slowdown.
To make the most of buoyant conditions, confidence in the sector and low interest rates, H&H recommends making sure anyone thinking about buying has taken pre-purchase steps to ensure a smooth transaction. That includes doing any due diligence, particularly research into access rights or public rights of way, and planning consents on and around the site.
H&H Land & Estates are currently working hard to support potential purchasers looking to step into the market and take advantage of the favourable economic conditions. Jonathan Hird can be contacted at the Carlisle branch on: 01228 406260 for an informal discussion, and the initial application is free for interested clients.