Spring is finally here after what feels like a long winter! A tumultuous final quarter of 2022 saw buyers grapple with continuous interest rate rises, a revolving door of prime ministers and a cost-of-living crisis.
As a result, deals started to slow and stall in the land and development sector, and more realistic expectations of guide prices were required, particularly in the housing sector, to adapt to changing market conditions.
Fast forward to Spring 2023 and while a further interest rate rise (May) is expected and inflation remains above forecasted levels, a sense of calm appears to have returned to the markets.
Buyers and investors have factored in the current rates and development transactions continue largely unaffected by short term volatility, while those benefiting from roll-over money and holding cash continue to invest in one of the safest and most resilient of asset classes.
The Hobbs Parker agency team has been exceptionally busy in the first quarter of this year reporting sales or sales agreed on farmland assets with a value in excess of £20 million across a range of farms and farmland blocks, with a mixture of openly marketed and off-market sales.
This includes the superb Queens Farm and Kings Farm in Shorne, comprising 512.31 acres of mostly Grade I and II arable land, a five-million gallon reservoir and set of farm buildings, under offer at well in excess of its £5.2m guide price.
A further 230.62 acres of excellent quality Grade I and II arable completed at nearby Ifield Place in excess of the £2m guide. Staying in North Kent, tucked inside the M25 near Dartford, a block of 285.75 acres of Grade II and Grade III arable guided as from £3,175,000 is sale agreed.
Off-market transactions have been equally active and are suited for those who do not wish to test the open market and prefer a more private approach.
Looking forward, and moving to the other end of the county, the recently launched North Farm at East Guldeford near Rye, comprising a pasture smallholding with three-bed detached house for modernisation set in about 37.83 acres, is for sale, guided at £800,000.
Further opportunities are found on the Romney Marsh, with approximately 68.35 acres of grade II arable land available as a whole or in three lots at Ham Mill Lane.
Away from the Romney Marsh, land adjoining Swain Road provides a rare chance to buy a good-sized parcel of arable land close to Tenterden and St Michaels. Comprising about 40 acres in a single-field parcel of Grade III arable land with good road frontage, this provides an excellent opportunity for a local farmer seeking to expand his or her holding and is guided at £350,000 to £375,000 (£8,750 to £9,375 per acre).
Further holdings are in the pipeline for the late spring and summer market. Following this positive start, demand continues apace from farmers, investors and amenity or environmental buyers.
For a confidential, no obligation chat to discuss how Hobbs Parker might assist you, please give them a call
For more like this, sign up for the FREE South East Farmer e-newsletter here and receive all the latest farming news, reviews and insight straight to your inbox.