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Following the lockdown that immobilised the land and property market, H&H Land & Estates is pleased to report that it has experienced a surge in demand for agricultural land and property across the North East.

Following the recent lifting of lockdown restrictions, the return of trading activity has been welcome news to businesses across the country, especially those in the property industry.

It seems that months of uncertainty have given way to a renewed clarity for many, with a flurry of interest in farming opportunities in remote rural areas. Alongside pre-pandemic sales progressing as normal, new signs show that farms with and properties with land are now in high demand.

The COVID-19 lockdown has had many unforeseen impacts, one being a renewed interest in rural lifestyles. With time to reflect and browse online, being house bound with limited access to nature has generated a pent-up demand for viewings and sales advice. Since easing, agricultural properties and plots are attracting significant interest from prospective buyers, at an even higher rate than early 2020. Robert Jauneika, Chartered Surveyor of H&H Land & Estates, explains that the current trend for the North of England’s land and property market is looking positive:

“Now more than ever, people across the UK are seeking to re-locate to a rural environment, and the North has become the centre of their search as the pandemic directs attention to regions off-the-beaten track. Despite the economic warnings of doom and gloom, there is strong evidence that plenty of activity is happening. Not only have our offices had an influx of new viewing requests, but we have also had plenty of property coming to market in recent weeks.

“Farming opportunities are being snapped up, with well-presented farms attracting numerous interested parties within days or weeks of being launched. In fact, in Durham a £1 million property that was remarketed after the original buyers pulled out due to unrelated reasons, was back under offer again in under a week! It is not just residential assets that are attracting attention but also small plots of land. For example, a block of grassland in County Durham is about to go to best and final offers because of the number of interested prospective buyers.”

This focus on agricultural properties with extensive grounds indicates a new purchaser demographic, as well as the growth of a more flexible working from home culture. Following the pandemic, people from across the nation are now seeking tranquil settings with the space to raise pets or livestock, and the isolated Northern regions have become the perfect place to begin a new life in the country or take on a farming enterprise.

Since restrictions have been eased, H&H Land & Estates has taking on several new instructions and facilitating viewings while adapting to necessary public health and safety measures. This growth in requests for viewings and market appraisals indicates a strong market is emerging from the lockdown period, with no evidence of negative impacts on price yet, as sales are achieving close to, if not in excess of, their guide.

With the coming winter and predicted economic downturn, the long-term situation will inevitably become more volatile. For this reason, Robert concludes that now is the time to sell:

“Given the crisis we find ourselves in, we must focus on the positive and be confident that once we are through the pandemic, UK agriculture can return to normal yet with new opportunities in the wings. Therefore, considering the demand for plots in the North, it feels like the right time for owners who are considering a sale to start taking preparatory steps. It is imperative that we find ways to help sustain agri-businesses in a new world context that now puts a much greater value on the farming industry. Our offices are open as normal and taking enquiries from anyone seeking support or advice for getting their property or agricultural assets on the market.”

H&H Land & Estates is one of the North's leading Chartered Surveyors, Agricultural Land Agents and Valuers across the North of England who offer a wide range of support services in every aspect of rural property.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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