Buoyant trade in farms may be due to increased interest from Ireland

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Prior to a ‘liaison’ visit to the Balmoral Show, Alastair Macmillan, H&H Land and Property’s Advisor for Scotland, reflects on the confidence that is returning to the land market, and the interest that is also returning from Ireland in buying farm land on the UK mainland.

Mr Macmillan explained: “There has been a resurgence in Irish interest in buying property here. We have recently brought four farms to the marketplace, and enquiries from Ireland have been significant.”

The interest from Ireland comes at the same time as the RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey H2 2014, released in February, which showed that Scotland experienced a rise of almost 17% in land prices.

In fact, feedback from across the industry on land prices suggests that Scotland has experienced the highest annual price growth of any part of the UK.

Significantly for Irish interest in local land, this RICS survey also reports that, at an estimate of just £4,375 per acre, the price of land in Scotland is still 47% below the national average, with the price of pasture land at least 40% cheaper than any other part of the UK.

However, according to Mr Macmillan, the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway are demonstrating that they offer real value for money in terms of land values, with optimism in the market place.

He added: “There are three reasons why Irish money and farmers are looking at farms over here. The first is accessibility – to Ireland itself, as well as UK markets, the second is that our land is of high quality and has been well looked after, and the third is it continues to be seen as a good investment, and one which holds its value well.”

Mr Macmillan’s visit to the Balmoral is entirely informal.

H&H Land and Property will not be officially present at the event.

However, Mr Macmillan is going to talk to local farmers who are interested in buying farm land in the UK.

He added: “There is no shortage of interest in farm land, from all sources, and especially in dairy farms.“

H&H Group plc was founded over 140 years ago originally as farmstock auctioneers and H&H Land and Property is one of seven successful operating companies encompassing livestock, machinery and vehicle auctioneers, brokers and valuers, auction rooms, insurance brokers, estate agents, commercial printers and chartered surveyors. The strength and support of the Group helps to assure customers of the best in local service, support and knowledge.