Our farms and land agency team has had one of its busiest years, completing on nearly £30 million of on and off market sales.
Despite the economic uncertainty and difficulties with the residential market, the farmland market has remained somewhat resilient with some excellent results achieved on behalf of our clients.
The year got off to a flying start when we completed on the sales of Queens Farm, Kings Farm and land at Ifield Place on behalf of the Colyer-Fergusson Trust. Totalling around 750 acres of mostly Grade I and II arable farmland, the sales completed well in excess of the £7.5 million combined guide price. We were delighted to have been instructed in one of the most significant on market land sales in Kent in recent years.
Also, on behalf of the same trust, we recently agreed a sale of land at Hazels, Durndale and Wingfield Bank Farms at Northfleet. The land extends to about 160 acres and was offered for sale as a whole or in three lots. The land is now under offer well in excess of the £1,275,000 guide price following a best and final offer process as a result of competitive bidding.
Also in North Kent, we agreed a sale on 286 acres of productive arable land within the M25 at Wilmington, near Dartford. The land was offered as a whole or in three lots at a guide price of £3,250,000.
Closer to Ashford, in Biddenden, we completed on the sales of Tatu Farm and Sweet Meadow Farm, both traditional grassland farms. Tatu Farm comprised a bungalow with an agricultural occupancy condition, farm buildings with a Class Q consent and about 32 acres of pasture land. The guide was £1,100,000. Sweet Meadow Farm comprised a modern farmhouse and 31 acres of farmland and sold close to the £1,400,000 guide.
Still in the Weald, in the early autumn we offered Tydebrook Farm, Bethersden, a grass farm with mobile home, farm buildings and 60 acres of pastureland. A sale was agreed within a month close to the £1,000,000 guide.
On the Romney Marsh we were delighted to be instructed in the sales of land at Ham Mill Lane, Hamstreet and Tipsilver Land, Dymchurch. Ham Mill Lane comprised 68.35 acres of arable farmland offered for sale as a whole or in three lots which sold in excess of the £685,000 guide price. Tipsilver Land, a single parcel of arable land extending to about 22 acres, is now sale agreed in excess of the £225,000 guide price.
Farm buildings without consent rarely come to the market, but this year we were instructed to sell farm buildings at Green Farm, Challock, by informal tender. With lots of potential, these building are now under offer some way in excess of the £275,000 to £300,000 guide. We have also recently been instructed in the sale of land and buildings at North Elham Farm. This useful set of genuine farm buildings also includes about 36 acres of pastureland and is offered for sale via informal tender with a guide price of 610,000 to £670,000. The closing date for best and final offers is 12 noon on
13 December 2023.
Smaller amenity parcels continue to attract significant interest, with excellent results. Highlights include 7.41 acres at Bilsington, Ashford, which, after competitive bidding, is now sale agreed well in excess of the £125,000 guide, and 3.85 acres at Shadoxhurst which sold well in excess of the £50,000 guide.
Looking forward to 2024, we anticipate continued scarcity in the marketplace.
Higher borrowing costs and squeezed farm profitability, however, are likely to make farmer buyers more cautious. Nonetheless, it is encouraging that market sentiment thus far in 2023 has held, farms and farmland continue to be highly sought after and values have remained firm.
If you are considering a sale or would like general advice, please speak to one of our experienced team of directors and chartered surveyors for a no obligation, confidential chat.