Land availability has risen for the first time in three years but the price of land is falling, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said yesterday.

The RICS Rural Land Market Survey for quarter two of 2005 indicates that many farmers are selling now that uncertainties over the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the introduction of the Single Farm Payment and Environmental Payments is over.

Mr. Crossman MRICS of Bidwells, Ipswich claims: ?Considerable amounts of farms and land are now hitting the market in the East with the whole market waking up and purchasers beginning to take residential farms more quickly?.

But as the availability of farmland increases, prices expected by surveyors are decreasing. Land prices fell for the second quarter to £3,856 an acre, 3% than 2004.

The increase in availablility has come after a long period of falls, meaning that overall availability remains low and more land needs to come onto the market to meet demand. In the South West Mr Fielding FRICS of Strutt & Parker says: ?A little more land is coming to the market but demand remains strong?.

Although price falls are expected for commercial farms in the next year, surveyors continue to expect modest price increases for residential farms, RICS said.