Rural land prices fall in Scotland

Sarah Speirs, director of RICS in Scotland

Scottish rural land prices fell in the second half of 2015 as low prices for crops and commodities took their toll, according a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Agricultural University (RAU).

The average price of rural land in Scotland fell to £3,625 per acre during the second half of last year — and that compares with £4,375 per acre for the same period in 2014.

“Lower commodity prices have reduced the demand for livestock and bare land in the west of Scotland and lower land prices are following,” said Bob Cherry, partner at real estate firm CKD Galbraith.

About 67 per cent of rural chartered surveyors expect rural land prices in Scotland to continue falling in the year ahead.

“Rural land prices have increased in Scotland over recent years — however, the latter half of 2015 saw prices and demand fall and the global fall in crop prices is likely to cause values to continue to decline over the next 12 months,” said Sarah Speirs, director of RICS in Scotland (pictured).

“Additionally, with commercial and residential property prices in towns and cities continuing to rise, this is likely to make rural land increasingly attractive to those outside traditional farming communities.

“We are already seeing growth in countryside land in Scotland being purchased by non-farmers – lifestyle buyers or hobby farmers.”

Jeremy Blackburn, RICS head of policy, said: “Start-up businesses do not have to be confined to the trendy streets of East London — Britain’s countryside has a great deal to offer young entrepreneurs.

“Market conditions appear to be encouraging a wave of new types of rural business, and help must be given to support this trend further if our countryside communities are to thrive.”