Lockdown has increased the desirability of rural properties

Bell Ingram is optimistic about rural property, farm and land sales now that restrictions have been relaxed.

All sales which completed during lockdown achieved over the asking price and we are already seeing an excellent response to farming properties newly released onto the market this month, most recently Whitebank Farm in Methven at o/o £1.5 million (pictured above).

This interest has been mirrored across our digital platforms with a surge in the number of page views on the Bell Ingram website with Google click throughs up 29% in June compared to May.

Lockdown demonstrated the importance of outdoor space, and we are seeing strong demand for properties with large gardens and easy access to the countryside. Many of our potential buyers are looking for homes with separate office space as the trend for remote working continues. Rural areas with superfast broadband are particularly attractive and are adding value to property.

If the appetite for rural property continues, we may well see more farms divided into separate lots for sale with the traditional farmhouse commanding bigger prices than before thanks to this increased interest in the residential elements of the farm,

Bare land has always been in high demand with neighbouring farmers and other investors looking to expand their property. However, renewed interest in lifestyle properties of less than 15 acres also means that the value of bare land could also increase due to demand from non-farming buyers. For example, we predict a high level of interest and demand in properties like 21 Thirdpart Holdings which has just come onto the market. This is a three-bedroom house, outbuildings and just over 13.5 acres in Crail.

But while there’s no doubt that lockdown has increased the desirability of rural properties, speculation that buyers could snap up premium properties at big discounts has proved unfounded and we are confident that values will hold steady or increase.

Our RICS Registered Valuers and Agents are currently extremely busy appraising farms and getting them ready for the Quarter 3 market. Land is currently looking at its best after a wet winter so it’s the ideal time to organise photographs and video coverage.

With such a slow start to the year we are expecting that fierce competition among buyers with the best properties quickly under offer.

Buyers who have finance lined up will be in a stronger position to secure the right property when it arrives on the market. With the bank base rate now down to 0.1%, the lowest ever in UK history, it is well worth taking an hour or so to review your financial arrangements and talk to Bell Ingram’s AMC agents.

Malcolm Taylor

Rural Land Management
Tel: 01307 462 516

Article posted on 21/07/2020

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