Following an 'interesting' year in the land market, Bell Ingram’s guide to average rural land values in Scotland and the North of England has been updated.

The guide covers average bare land values; existing forestry (crop and solum, excluding carbon credit and peatland sums) and sporting values in Scotland (red deer stags, driven grouse and salmon).

Partner and head of valuations at Bell Ingram, Sarah Tyson, commented: “Average arable land and the best pasture land values have been relatively steady but there is still limited supply and continuing demand, especially where neighbours have the chance to buy. Borrowers are looking to take advantage of current low interest rates whilst they can and certainly AMC lending has seen fixed interest loan rates being very popular.

“Smaller country properties and amenity land can continue to appeal to those seeking space to enjoy rural living and it will be interesting to see if relaxation of Covid restrictions and a return to at least some office working has any impact on demand for out of town living.

Read more: Scottish farmland enjoys strongest value growth across all UK land types

“The forestry sector remains very strong, and we have seen a period of good timber prices," said Ms Tyson. "The unprecedented demand from investors for land suitable for tree planting continues and is further fuelled due to the impact of Natural Capital, including peatland restoration and rewilding projects, although values are very site specific (and can seem eye watering), making it difficult to apply averages.

“Values for sporting interests are steady, but again vary depending upon the particular estate, location and facilities. Scotland has seen an increase in estate sales to those looking for forestry/Natural Capital interests and these examples of land use bring different dimensions, and, approach to prices. Nevertheless, deer management is still essential, and fishers are ever hopeful of a catch, so estates with varied opportunities still have wide appeal.”

Those looking to secure finance for agriculture or rural businesses can speak to Bell Ingram’s AMC agents.