THE value of farmland in England appears to be levelling out after two years of gradual decline.

Michael Fiddes, head of estates & farm agency for Strutt & Parker, said: "The past six months have been a time of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty, thanks to the Brexit vote and a snap general election. However, despite the turmoil, land prices have held up remarkably well."

The average price paid for arable land in quarter two was £8,400/acre – around the same level as during the first three months of the year.

"There can be a wide range in prices paid, but the majority of land sold in the £8,000 to £10,000/acre price bracket, with most of this at the lower end of the range," he said.

"Pasture prices also remained stable at an average sale price of £7,700/acre, with a range from £5,800 to £8,875/acre."

Mr Fiddes said demand for farmland remained highly localised with some going under offer quickly following competitive bidding, while others were attracting much lower levels of interest.

He said: "Farms are generally taking longer to sell, particularly the smaller units of 100-500 acres, but some of the larger blocks of ground are selling particularly quickly and selling well.

"One factor is more activity in the market from buyers looking to roll-over windfall funds from the sale of residential development land. Lifestyle buyers and private investors are playing an increasing role in the market."

The data points to a significant fall this year in the proportion of land selling for more than £10,000/acre, compared with 2014 and 2015.

Mr Fiddes said supply was slow at the start of the year but picked up in quarter two with levels around the five-year average.

"At this point, there are no indications that more farmers are planning to sell this autumn, which would accelerate the amount of land coming onto the market," he said.

"While Brexit has caused uncertainty, some farmers have been reassured by the promise that subsidies will continue until at least 2022 and the rise in commodity prices, which is a direct result of the fall in the value of sterling."

Will Parry from Strutt & Parker's Northern region said the difference between the highest and lowest prices paid for land had never been so wide.

"The best land, characterised by its location and quality, is selling very quickly and well. However, demand has fallen for secondary quality land, in less sought-after areas, or for farms where there is property that needs work.

"I expect the market to be selective over the coming months, with some blocks of land and farms struggling to find buyers, but don’t be surprised to hear of some top prices being paid for the most attractive properties."