COMMERCIAL farmland market will remain robust throughout 2017 given current healthy levels of interest witnessed in 2016, according to CKD Galbraith. 
The firm reported that the commercial farmland market in Scotland remained resilient with a number of farm sales completed over the previous 12 months and values holding strong. 
This is despite relatively poor commodity prices experienced over the last two years and the political uncertainty placed on the industry throughout 2016 with Brexit, Land Reform and the confusion over CAP reforms and late BPS subsidy payments. 
During 2016, more than 60 farms totalling over 20,000 acres with a value in excess of £65m have been sold or are currently under offer through CKD Galbraith. Notably, there has been an increase in the number of private sales taking place throughout Scotland and it says it has a growing number of clients on its books looking to buy.
Partner at CKD Galbraith, Simon Brown, said: “Headline figures are still being achieved for land in parts of East Lothian, Angus and Fife with the Aberdeenshire market slowing down as a result of the fall in oil prices. 
"Until fairly recently, some of the more marginal arable and grassland farms in Ayrshire have been depressed by a drop in milk prices. However, in recent months we have experienced an increased interest in land and farms for dairy following an increase in milk prices during the latter half of 2016.”
This was backed by another of the firms’ partners, Duncan Barrie, who commented: “Productive bare arable land and hill ground suitable for planting remains in high demand and often attracting a premium at closing date. 
"Planting land still attracts buyers from south of the border and other European countries who continue to identify value for money.
“Although we have witnessed an element of caution, within some sectors of agriculture over the past few years, interest at all price levels and for different types and quality of land remains.
“We predict healthy competition within the Scottish land market throughout 2017 due to the associated tax relief, historically low interest rates and farmers keen to expand their existing operations. 
"We believe, these factors will result in bare land values being maintained throughout the next 12 to 18 months,” he added.