English Farmland for Sale Drops to Lowest Since 2004 After Rain

Farmland for sale in England dropped to the lowest since 2004 after the wettest January in two centuries curbed listings, according to Savills Plc.

English farmland on the market fell 13 percent to 9,200 acres in the first quarter, the lowest since 8,400 acres in 2004, said Ian Bailey, head of rural research at London-based real estate brokers Savills. The U.K had the wettest January since 1766, spurring flooding in southern England.

“The weather may have been a factor,” Bailey, a former sheep farmer, said by phone from Rye, England. “Some farms didn’t look great.”

Farmland values will probably climb 6 percent across Great Britain this year, with large commercial cropping farms which tend to be in eastern England climbing 10 percent, Bailey said. Cropping farms usually grow sugar beet to cereals, oilseeds and potatoes. “10 percent is more muted than it has been. We’ve seen 250 to 300 percent growth since 2003 and some of those years were 20 percent plus. The recession’s had a bit of an effect.”

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