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Farmland Prices Rise to Record in England as Producers Expand

Farmland prices climbed to a record in England and Wales in the second half of last year as producers sought to expand operations amid rising commodity prices, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said.

Farmland in the region averaged 6,783 pounds ($10,504) an acre, up 2.3 percent from the first half of the year, RICS said today in a report on its website, citing a survey it completed with the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, England. Prices have “continually risen” since early 2009, it said. Fifty-four percent of surveyors contributing to the report expect farmland prices to extend gains in the next year, RICS said.

“The majority of demand continues to be driven by commercial farmers, keen to expand production to capitalize on high agricultural commodity prices,” RICS said in a statement. “Farmers are discriminating in favor of large, top quality neighboring plots with as small a residential component as possible. As a result, there is considerable price differentiation in farmland, even locally.”

The most expensive agricultural land is in the West Midlands, with prices averaging 7,625 pounds an acre, according to the report. Farmland in Scotland is the least expensive at 3,750 pounds an acre, primarily because of lower prices for pasture land.

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