In the first quarter of 2019, some 200 acres of land has changed hands in the south down border region with no indications that the shadow of Brexit is impacting demand, reports Garry Best, MD of Best Property Services.

Best Property Services – one of the region’s largest multi-department property agencies – has a dedicated Land department, handling land sales, leasing, development and Conacre agreements for clients across Northern Ireland and border regions.

Garry Best said that the company has presided over 6 land auctions in 2019 and so far the 2018 average price per acre of between £13000-£14500/acre is still holding firm with no sign of any adverse impact on demand through the Brexit negotiations (or lack of).

Rural Building Sites continue on the upward trend shown during 2018, with average prices (excluding coastal areas) between £65,000-£70,000. Coastal areas are achieving on average 55% more than that.

“Buyers mainly prefer to buy with an Outline consent (rather than full planning) so that they can proceed with a ‘blank canvas’,” Garry adds.

Looking at sector trends and key talking points, Garry cited the very positive new trials ongoing for older farmers to partner with younger farmers in their region as part of a scheme to support those with no succession plan.

“John McCallister gave an interesting talk at the recent NIRVA/CAAV Spring Rural Economy briefing at Greenmount College, on how the land mobility organisation were encouraging elderly farmers with no farming successors to consider a shared farming arrangement with a younger farmer. 

“I think this is a very positive scheme supporting future generations and the NI economy.

“I understand that to date more than 20 groups have been working together to trial the process which is extremely positive for the future of the agricultural sector in NI,” Garry adds.