Scottish farmland update

    Scottish prime arable land values have outperformed the rest of Great Britain over the past year, rising by 9.7% in the first three quarters of 2012.

    That compares to 7.3% growth in GB, which is still a very positive result given the lack of performance from many other assets in the difficult economic climate. According to latest figures from Savills, the number of acres of farmland marketed in Scotland increased by 22% in the year to September, with 36,000 acres advertised publicly. That is the largest supply for the first nine months of the year since 2006.

    “Although we have seen a notable increase in supply this year, larger commercially viable farms have been scarce,” says Savills Luke French. “In fact, of the 134 farms available this year, only 23 had more than 400 acres.”

    Savills’ latest farmland analysis reveals that 54% of the Scottish farms marketed this year have either sold or are currently under offer. Almost half of those left are located in South West Scotland and are typically between 100 and 300 acres. 

    “While east coast arable land of any size will continue to find buyers comparatively easily, farms in the West will need to be of sufficient scale and well equipped if they are to attract similar levels of interest,” says Luke. “If they are of smaller acreage, they need to include top quality land.”

    Interestingly, there has been a notable increase in the supply of bare land, with sellers capitalising on farmers’ appetite to expand their properties in sought after areas like the Lothians, Fife, Central Scotland, Perthshire and Angus, resulting in some significant prices being achieved. 

    The last quarter saw particularly strong growth in Scotland, with prime arable land values rising by 7.3% to £6,450/acre, with some prices exceeding £8000/acre in competitive situations. That compares to 3.2% growth during Q3 in GB, to average just under £8,000/acre.


    Key contacts

    Luke French

    Luke French

    Associate Director
    Rural Sales

    Savills Edinburgh

    +44 (0) 131 247 3723

    +44 (0) 131 247 3723