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20 June 2017

Our property specialists provide a brief overview of what is currently happening in the property market.

Farms and Land

The farmland market has yet to get into gear this year and currently supplies are low. There will undoubtedly be caution on the part of farmers who are uncertain what will replace the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) after Brexit, however the same applied last autumn when most land found a buyer. At Robinson & Hall we averaged around £8,500 per acre for bare land which is a little down on the previous 2 years but still above the prices of 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. I would expect continued strong interest from rollover funds and from outside the farming industry as farmland continues to be seen as a safe bet in uncertain times and has the benefit of a range of tax reliefs. In particular, larger equipped farms will be limited in supply and should always attract interest.

Development Land
After a period of reflection following the Brexit referendum the development market has come back to life, spurred on by sustained sales and modestly rising prices. Builders, large and small, need to replenish their pipelines and there is particular competition for the smaller sites. Single building plots in village locations are always popular and can achieve top prices from self-builders who do not need to take a profit from the project.

We conduct regular auctions every 2 months under the Auction House banner. Residential properties for improvement sell particularly well at auction as do smaller parcels of land which can produce surprising results. In a world where it seems to take longer and longer to exchange contracts and where there are myriad reasons for sales falling through before contracts can be exchanged, the auction room is becoming more popular for its speed and certainty.

Commercial Property
We have experienced a cautious start to the year, however interest is now on the increase across the board. Applicants are looking for a good working environment and such we are receiving more interest for rural offices. Good internet connection is still imperative for most tenants, along with good access links and parking. The industrial sector continues to outperform the other commercial sectors with continued demand from both owner occupiers and investors alike.

We note that some agents have plenty of commercial property that has been on the market for an extremely long time with little or no interest. However we would advise that the market is moving with realistic pricing, whether that be leasehold or freehold. 

The new rating list comes into force this month and it’s an opportunity to ensure that your bill is correct; we can offer help in this area.

Residential Lettings
Stock levels are low and demand is increasing, therefore rents are rising. Sale house prices are also increasing which means young professionals are struggling to get a mortgage so the only option is to rent. Bedford is seeing record rent increases as the London market becomes saturated and people start looking for the next towns within easy commute. As Bedford is only 36 minutes on a fast train to St Pancras we are seeing more and more people moving here in order to lower their living costs and start saving in order to buy a property.

To book a free market appraisal to find out how much your land or property is worth or for further information about how Robinson & Hall can help you, please call 01234 351000 and select the applicable option.

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