Symonds & Sampson were delighted to be invited to participate in the Melplash Show Land & Property Webinar, hosted by Show President Nigel Jones.
In a ‘normal’ year, we’d have welcomed clients to our stand at the show, and chatted to them in person over refreshments. Obviously, that wasn’t to be in 2020, so we are extremely grateful to Melplash Show for hosting this, the first of their informative topic related webinars, and inviting Ross Willmington and Will Wallis of Symonds & Sampson, and Justin Lowe and Philip Hodgkin of Greenslade Taylor Hunt to take part.
The hour-long discussion featured short presentations from each panellist on the Property Market 2020, an assessment of the current and future of farming subsidies, grants currently available, and advise on how best to evaluate farming assets. Rural Tenancies and an Equestrian update were also briefly covered. The presentations were informative and thought provoking, and drew very relevant questions from the virtual audience.
So, what did a viewer learn?
- Residential values continue to boil, fuelled particularly by demand from people looking to move into the area, even taking out ‘Let to Buy’ mortgages if they are unable to sell their city property. A rush to move by Christmas, a rush to exchange by 31.3.2021 – when the current stamp duty holiday ends; conveyancing solicitors tearing their hair out.
- Demand for residential farms is strong, as buyers seek the privacy and space afforded.
- By comparison, commercial farm values were fairly static throughout the year despite short supply
- Land prices were varied, with good quality land or interest from typically a neighbour driving prices higher
- An increase in online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic has seen fuelled demand for rural storage and warehousing in the area
- ‘Carbon Market’ is a phrase we are likely to hear more often, where developers will be required to offset their carbon footprint by investing in ‘green’ space
- We know a little about life beyond BPS; the new Environmental Land Management scheme and the Sustainable Farming Incentive outlined by DEFRA aim to improve productivity and the environment
- There are considerable sums of money available to a land-owner for various hedging, fencing grants and wildlife management options, provided certain criteria are met
- There’s never been a better time to evaluate your assets, and ensure every inch of your property is being utilised to its maximum effect. That might be diversification, it might be liquidation for investment, but efficiency is the key to securing the future of your business for you, and for future generations.
Nobody can predict what lies ahead for rural businesses. Tax, subsidies, land prices, planning legislation are all factors in our futures. It’s a time to take stock, be objective, and seek advice to be able to make informed decisions.
The webinar can be viewed here, and Ross and Will would be delighted to answer any questions that you have.
Ross Willmington 01297 33122
Will Wallis 01305 236572