Matthew Peters said the trend – which began in 2013 with wealthy people switching investment cash into farms and land – showed no signs of slowing in 2014 and looked set to continue through this year and beyond.
He was commenting on the latest Rural Land Market report from the RICS/RAU which revealed average land prices breaking through the £10,000 per acre barrier, for the first time.
Matthew continued: “Commodity prices have been highly volatile in recent months but land prices are continuing to rise. However the outcome of the General Election might well have an impact on future values as tax rates could rise on the back of a change in the Government.
“The volume of supply is generally flat or even falling. However investors see land and farms as a very safe haven with the potential for good long term capital growth and reasonably secure returns.
“We also have the cheapest borrowing costs for many years, so now really is the time to look at investing to secure the asset before the outcome of the election is known.
The H2-2014 RICS/RAU report revealed that the supply of commercial farmland had remained flat or decreased in nine of the ten areas covered by the survey while demand had grown in all but one part of the UK.
The report also showed that rents had remained broadly stable, perhaps increasing slightly in some specific market sectors.
It went on: “Anecdotal evidence from members suggests that the recent fall in commodity prices may be tempering the pace of demand, particularly for smaller blocks, in all parts of the country.
“The increase in demand from ‘lifestyle’ buyers that began in H2 2013 continued throughout the whole of 2014. We have seen this in a number of recent transactions from our Gloucester office, where the number of potential buyers for straightforward parcels of farm land has seen encouraging growth in line with many other parts of the UK.
Matthew Peters concluded: “The agricultural land market both here and around the country has been seriously undersupplied of late and with land values continuing the climb there is no shortage of people wanting to provide a safe and secure long term asset which will benefit either themselves or future generations.”