The volume of farmland which came to the open market in England during the first six months of the year was the lowest for five years.

However, bucking this trend has been the South West, where 37 farms have been marketed, which is almost 50 per cent more than usual; half of these farms are small (less than 200 acres) mixed or lowland livestock farms.

William Morrison, from Strutt & Parker’s South West Region said:

“The South West has bucked the national trend, with more land coming to the market than normal. We’ve seen some interesting properties launched this spring, ranging from large farming businesses to good-sized blocks of bare land, but the bulk of launches have been smaller mixed or lowland livestock farms.  

“Death and, increasingly, debt are prompting sales, although retirement is another factor, in particular where there are children who are pursuing other careers and do not want to carry on farming. 

“In terms of demand, rollover buyers are very much in evidence and whilst there is also good interest from a number of farm businesses looking to expand, if it wasn’t for the rollover buyers the market would be significantly different.

“Farms that were launched earlier this year have sold well, with arable prices ranging from £7,750/acre to £11,000/acre and pasture prices from £6,000/acre to £9,000/acre.”