THE value of farmland has remained strong despite a record low supply due to the challenges of 2020, according to a leading rural estate agents.

New research by Savills, which until recently had a branch in Corbridge, highliughted an underlying confidence in rural investments and the ongoing resilience of the sector, despite low supply due to Brexit and COVID-19.

Just 95,160 acres were brought to the public market as of September 30, keeping the supply of farmland at historic lows.

More than half of the activity occurred between July and October, following momentum seen in June as the market emerged from lockdown.

Despite publicly marketed supply remaining at levels well below average, private and off-market sales have been a popular avenue for some vendors, and a survey by Savills showed that values have barely changed.

Britain’s average 'All types' farmland indicator remains unchanged at £6,690 per acre with prime arable down 0.1% to £8,690 per acre. Grade 3 arable was up 0.2% to £7,323 per acre while grade 3 pasture land was unchanged at £5,384 per acre.

Andrew Black, head of the farms and estates agency team in the North at Savills, said there was significant interest in rural homes.

He said: “There continues to be a remarkable increase in interest for houses in the country and amenity farmland as many urban-based buyers seek more green space out of the major centres.

"Rural estates with notable residential components are also attracting interest at the higher end of the market.”

He said there was also demand for greenfield land with forestry planting potential, which showed that natural capital motives were beginning to gain traction.

“Looking ahead, trade and policy reform are expected to develop in detail before the year end," Mr Black added.

"The sector is set for radical change, however we expect the demand fundamentals to remain strong and the market steady with such low supply.”

Angus Locke, of Savills rural research added: “As investors revisit portfolio allocation over the coming months and years, the appeal of uncorrelated and inflation hedged alternative assets like farmland may be bought into focus."