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Welsh Farmland Market Regains Confidence

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Confidence is being restored among those searching for farms to buy in Wales, experts believe.

Sales of commercial units have increased in the past nine months, with the industry shaking off any nervousness about Brexit and Covid, says Carter Jonas Partner Hugh O’Donnell.

“The market and the level of supply coming forward during the height of the pandemic was subdued, but the recent increase in sales has brought renewed energy and confidence to the market,” Mr O’Donnell said.

He adds that values have remained steady over the past 12-18 months, with certain localised markets proving particularly strong.

“Anglesey, for example, has seen a good number of farm sales over the past 12 months and buyers have responded positively to that,” Mr O’Donnell says.

He believes a new type of buyer has emerged in recent months which is interested in agricultural land for the public goods it facilitates, rather than simply in its farming potential.

“There's a lot of talk about purchasing land for woodland planting right now and those buyers are out there, from high net worth individuals through to companies and trusts,” he adds.

“The carbon market, as it relates to farmland, is less mature than buying blocks of woodland, but I think it will usher in a new type of buyer who is looking to capitalise on a farm’s potential for biodiversity and carbon capture.

“That sector will go from strength to strength and its potential impact on the market shouldn't be underestimated.”

However, despite the rise of the buyer interested in biodiversity, Hugh has continued to see activity from traditional agricultural sources.

“By and large it's good to see farmers buying and looking to expand the land and enterprises they’ve already got,” he says.

“There has been a lack of supply over the past two and a half years, but this has increased over the past 12 months and there are people out there looking to buy.

“Good land in good areas will always sell and achieve a premium – we’ve seen some good examples of that.”