Top Ten Country Specialist
‘It’s been a slightly turbulent period over recent months and arguably over the last couple of years,’ says Alex Lawson, who heads up the national farms and estates team at Savills.
But he has seen a growing interest in landed estates.
‘There’s been marginal price adjustments, but generally speaking farms and rural estates have been quite a resilient sector of the market,’ he says. The perennial shortage of stock (‘less than 0.5 per cent of available farmland is on sale’), combined with ‘very strong and very varied buyers’ profiles’, means that when quality property does come on sale it justifies prices remaining strong.
Furthermore, renewable energy and other diversified income streams are proving increasingly attractive. Last year Lawson’s team dealt with more than a dozen properties priced at £10 million or more. One particularly satisfying sale was the £19 million Hexton estate in Hertfordshire, a classic country estate being sold after three generations of ownership.
‘That’s a good example of a property that will come to the market once in a blue moon’ he says. He adds that while larger-scale mixed investments pull in foreign investors, ‘Culturally, people in this country just love owning land.