Buying land in the US, Australia and Western Europe is popular

Date: 07 Jul 2016

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Tom Hewitt, head of food and farming at Burges Salmon (left), and Ian Bailey, head of rural research at Savills (right), also say that investors in Eastern Europe and Latin America must consider the risk of the changing attitude towards foreign investment in local agriculture.

How will Brexit impact UK agriculture? 

If EU subsidies stop, it will cause income pressure on farmers which may result in more land being brought to market. However, we know that with uncertainty people tend to sit on their hands and won’t rush to sell their land. Therefore, Brexit will probably not have a massive influence on the land market: we won’t see a crash, but we won’t see more supply either. Supply will continue to stay historically low as the market is very small.

How can UK farmers deal with EU subsidies being cut? 

Brexit will affect farmers who rely on subsidy but it will have less impact on the bigger farmers who have more diversified businesses and agricultural activities, such as using their land for commercial purposes or leisure. We saw the subsidy reducing anyway over the last three years so many businesses have already planned their budget with less money coming from EU funds. 

Where are the investment hotspots in the UK and internationally?

South east of Thames Valley is popular, especially with clients who want to buy land surrounding a property. Other popular locations are about fifty miles north of the M4 and M40, down into Hampshire, and Wilshire; and M25 into Surrey and Sussex. From a commercial and tax point of view, UHNWs will be looking at big commercial farms in the East of England and East Midlands. Then you will have some who will look for sporting estates, and they look to the North of England and Scotland. Internationally, UHNWs buy land in the US, Australia and Western Europe as these destinations are less risky. Some are interested in Argentina and Latin America, and parts of Eastern Europe, but they have to be more careful when it comes to local politics and culture, so they have to understand the local market well. Another risk of investing in these regions is the changing attitude towards foreign investment.

This article was published in Citywealth Weekly, our mid-week roundup of topical news and exclusive expert comments. Sign up here to start receiving the Weekly in your inbox. 


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