Land Markets: UK vs. US

We look at some of the key facts and figures in these two farmland markets.

It has become a familiar scenario: a decreasing supply of UK farmland for sale in the face of surging demand, and steady increases in land values as a result. In 2014 the pattern was more entrenched than ever, with record lows in the amount of land being publicly oþered for sale in the UK; just 131,000 acres, the smallest amount since 1945. Savills research shows that non-farming buyers account for 55 per cent of the market; of these just over half cite capital investment, including tax benefits, as their principal reason for buying. But with opportunities for buying land in the UK becoming increasingly rare, overseas markets are looking ever more attractive.

While the emerging markets of sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe oþer larger potential returns, We look at some of the key facts and figures in these two farmland markets established markets such as those in Australia and the US can be a lower risk option. “They offer good returns and are more transparent and liquid than the emerging markets,” says Ian Bailey of Savills Rural Research, whose analysis of the US farmland market has recently been published in Savills Spotlight on US Farmland.

The US farmland market is broadly equivalent to the UK, although the dynamics differ. There are opportunities for large-scale commodity production, especially in the ‘corn belt’ of the Midwest, as well as diverse specialist crops such as fruit and nuts in California, and cotton and rice in the Mississippi delta,” says Ian.

With more agricultural land than any other country (except India) – around 1.7 billion acres – and served by excellent infrastructure, the US could provide an attractive alternative to investors unable to ÿnd the acreage they require in the UK market.

 

 
 

Key contacts

Ian Bailey

Ian Bailey

Head of Agricultural Research
Rural Research

Savills Margaret Street

+44 (0) 207 299 3099

+44 (0) 207 299 3099

 
 

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