Knight Frank have recorded a 164% increase in English farmland values in the past ten years, their research department has just revealed. This compares with a figure for 113% for prime central London, whilst the FTSE 100 share index ended the decade 22% down.

For the future, farmland values are not exempt from threats, the agent adds in its report – uncertainty of political change and the end of the current Single Payment Scheme in 2012 are both issues that may have an impact. Land ownership may, for example, become less enticing if there are changes to Agricultural Property Relief (APR) legislation that, in many circumstances, currently provides 100% relief from inheritance tax on farmland and residential property that is integral to the farming business.

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Prices are likely to become more regionalised and not necessarily in line with the land’s agricultural productivity value as demand from other uses, such as renewable energy, increases they added.

Taking expert advice will be vital and valuers and land agents must consider all angles when analysing estate and farm resources for valuation or management purposes.