Following a busy year in 2016 for farm sales, Bell Ingram, one of Scotland’s leading firms of chartered surveyors and land agents, is cautiously optimistic for further sales in the coming year.
Malcolm Taylor and Stewart Hamilton, from the firm’s Forfar office, sold a total of nine farms exceeding £18 million in what they described as a steady 2016.
Stewart Hamilton, an AMC agent, said: “The market opened well with five farms selling strongly in the spring, and this was followed by good demand for farms for the rest of the year including land at West Mains of Gagie, Kellas; Drumnagair Farm; Laurencekirk; and Courthill Farm, Inverkeilor.
“There are no signs of the land market becoming flooded and we had a steady supply of good quality land throughout Angus, Fife and Kincardineshire.”
He added that with interest rates remaining low and both flexible and fixed rate finance for up to thirty years available through AMC, the opportunity exists to add stability into land based businesses.
He continued: “Brexit will be challenging for a number of reasons, but looked at over a ten to fifteen year period, agriculture is still going to play a vital role in the rural economy of Scotland.”
Malcolm Taylor, a partner at Bell Ingram and head of land management, is confident that 2017 has the potential to follow a similar pattern to that of last year.
He added: “This year will be an interesting one for farm agencies.
“There is always a risk of threat from Brexit and the uncertainty over a second independence referendum could unsettle the Scottish market, but good quality sensibly priced farms will still be in demand.
“We have already had enquiries from potential buyers looking for land in Angus, and we’re in the process of bringing approximately 260 acres of land to the market.
“We’re also seeing a number of businesses restructuring so that they are as well placed as they can be to react to future trading and market opportunities.”
Established 117 years ago, Bell Ingram has 130 professional staff across 11 UK offices including: farm, estate and forestry managers; chartered surveyors, architects, planners, and building surveyors; and tourism, GIS mapping, and renewable energy specialists.