Farmland prices per acre in England and Wales rose by 9.6 percent in Q4 2021, in comparison with the same period 12 months ago.
Data from estate agent and consultancy Knight Frank shows the average price for bare agricultural land in the two countries stood at £7,580 per acre ($10,269; €9,077) in Q4 2021, up from £6,912 in Q4 2020.
The Q4 2021 figure is the highest average farmland price recorded by the index since Q3 2016, when the average farmland price per acre was £7,672.
“It should be noted that 2021 saw the balance of supply and demand abnormally skewed,” explained the notes of the Knight Frank Farmland Index.
At little more than 64,000 acres, the amount of land advertised publicly, according to the Farmers Weekly Land Tracker, was similar to the record low registered in 2020 when the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic decimated the market.
“Demand, though, remained exceptionally strong throughout the year as buyers with a range of motivations battled for the few good holdings that did reach the market, often setting values significantly higher than our index,” said the Knight Frank report.
Knight Frank revealed that the 1,011-acre Roundtown Estate in Hampshire, southern England, for which it was the selling agent, “comfortably exceeded” its £13.8 million guide price due to strong interest from farmers, conservation bodies and rollover money.
Knight Frank head of rural research Andrew Shirley commented: “Buyers looking to farm regeneratively, plant trees to harvest carbon, or even rewild have been particularly strong players.”