Land values falling but expected to regain ground this year

The rapid increase in the value of land in Britain came to a halt last year, Savills Research has reported.

While values started to fall during the second half of 2008, they are expected to regain lost ground by the end of this year, according to Savills' Agricultural Land Market Survey, published last month.

Farmland is worth about 135 per cent more now than five years ago, at £4,200 per acre (0.4ha) averaged across all types.

Supply of farmland continues to be stable but, with the exception of eastern England, less land changes hands now than before the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001.

Fewer farmers and growers sold up in 2008, the survey found, while more non-farming landowners are selling and fewer are buying.

Just seven per cent of all sales were motivated by debt - the second-lowest figure recorded since Savills started monitoring over 20 years ago. More buyers cited investment as a main reason to buy.

People from Denmark and Ireland continued to buy into UK land, representing 13 per cent of all purchases in 2008.

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