[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 11:46 GMT
City people drive up rural prices
A farmer
Farmers face being squeezed out
Town dwellers are pushing up the price of agricultural land as they buy places in the country, according to a study.

Non-farmers accounted for 51% of all UK land sales in the last quarter of 2003, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said.

Demand was strongest in the South East of England - at 65% - especially for land with a farm house on it.

Farmland sold for an average of 7,931 per hectare during the year, 7.3% more than in 2002, RICS said.

City bonuses

RICS rural spokesman Julian Sayers said: "The strong demand for property within the rural land market continues, albeit with activity highly skewed towards residential farms in the South East."

He said: "We may well see this trend continue when City bonuses are announced."

Although demand for land with a residential property was highest, there was also increased demand for commercial farmland, particularly in the South East and East of England and the East Midlands.

RICS said that while the study suggested farmers were being squeezed out of the market, many sales of commercial farms and land remained on hold pending further details of how proposed new agricultural support will be brought in across Britain.

The group said there had been a continual drop in the amount of land for sale, with 55% more RICS members saying they had seen a reduction than those who reported an increase.


SEE ALSO:
Farm incomes set to soar
29 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Training for a new countryside
29 Jan 04  |  Education
Tories seek fisheries shake-up
27 Jan 04  |  Politics
Survey sparks farmer subsidy row
24 Jan 04  |  England


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific