Holly Stafford, Director and Chartered Surveyor at Vickers and Barrass gives her property predictions for 2022, discusses land prices across the North East of England, shares her thoughts on the market and tips on how to prepare your property for sale.
The last 18 months have seen unprecedented trends in the UK property market. At the start of the pandemic many feared a house price crash. However, quite the opposite has happened for the housing and farmland markets. It is anticipated that a lack of supply and high demand will continue to fuel growth in the market in 2022, although price growth will vary depending on land type and quality and location.
According to Savills average values for all land types rose by 6.2% across Great Britain during 2021. Prices have been spurred on by restricted supply, continued interest from traditional farmland buyers, people looking to relocate to the countryside and newer environmental investors.
Lower quality land in the region has the best capacity for price growth in 2022. Government policy is evolving away from land based subsidies and towards green incentive schemes. Poorer quality land that could lend itself to environmental uses is expected to see the largest increase in value. For land of this type its new value is as a tangible store of carbon and its important environmental credentials has added to the investor appeal, and we see no reason for this to change.
Demand for smaller farms with strong amenity or lifestyle appeal is also expected to remain as a result of the pandemic’s long lasting impact on working practices.
In the last twelve months we have marketed various types of land; from traditional farmland to equestrian properties, former quarries and smallholdings across Northumberland and County Durham.
We have experienced a definite change in buyer profile. Previously it was unusual for buyers to come from outside of the North East and Yorkshire, but the pandemic has changed this dramatically and we are now seeing purchasers from all over the British Isles. We are often being told that this is due to employers allowing much more flexible working arrangements, where employees have no need to live near a city and are seeking a more rural lifestyle.
Interest rates have also been another big driver. Interest rates have remained at record low levels in recent years, and it is simply unsustainable that rates will remain as low for much longer. Rising interest rates will mean more expensive mortgage repayments, which undoubtedly will have an effect on property prices and buyers’ ability to borrow.
However, due to demand, premium rates are likely to continue in the first half of this year and our advice for those thinking of selling is threefold. On a practical level the timing of any sale can make a big difference. Aim to sell your property when the land is looking at its best. Presentation matters so ensure that farmyards and buildings are tidy and marketing images are clear and attractive. Finally, for a smooth sale ensure that all paperwork is in place prior to the launch of your property. This can make a sale much smoother and will bring it to a quicker conclusion.
With land demand at an all-time high our advice remains that if you are considering buying or selling a parcel of land or unique property with land seek appropriate advice from a Chartered Surveyor. Holly Stafford is a Chartered Surveyor and a Director of Vickers and Barrass, based in the North East please call (01388) 730095.
This article first appeared in the Farmer’s Guardian magazine and you can read it by clicking here.