Scottish Farmland Market Review | Spring 2023
Scottish Farmland Market Review | Spring 2023

Scottish Farmland Market Review | Spring 2023

Farmland values in Scotland remain strong with demand robust across all farm types.

Analysis of data from the past 12 months shows that overall land prices increased during the first half of 2022, although they flattened off in the autumn.

The average value of prime arable land on the east coast was £9,500/acre, but varied widely according to location, from an average of £4,500/acre in the Highlands to £16,000/acre in the Lothians.

The price paid for land suitable for afforestation peaked at the beginning of the year, reaching in excess of £8,000/acre in some cases, before falling back during the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, the average price paid for grass leys increased from £3,500/acre in 2021 to £4,000/acre in 2022.

A total of 41,600 acres were launched to the open market in 2022, which is 30% above the five-year average. In addition, more vendors than usual chose an off-market approach meaning the post-pandemic recovery, in terms of supply, was even more significant than is immediately apparent.

However, levels of demand remained higher than supply, with 89% of the farms marketed finding a buyer by the end of the year. The majority of those remaining available were only marketed in the second half of the year, so may just need more time to sell.

The main buyers were farmers looking to expand their businesses or invest rollover proceeds from development land.

However, during 2022 there was an increase in activity from non-farming investors who perceived land as a safer asset class compared to many other investment options.

Forestry and ESG buyers were also prevalent, especially during the first half of the year.

Looking forward, we expect supply to increase, but demand will continue to outweigh supply and keep prices firm.

Read our full market update for:

  • Market outlook
  • Supply of farmland
  • Demand for farmland
  • Pricing and region-specific breakdowns between arable and pasture land

Strutt & Parker produces a separate Scottish Estates Market Review which will be published in early February. 

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