French farmland becomes more attractive

French farmland becomes more attractive

French farmland is becoming more attractive, according to agents, as the weak euro and rising UK agricultural prices make it far more affordable for investors.

Trevor Leggett, Managing Director of Leggett Immobilier, comments: "2012 has seen the price of UK farmland rise yet again (0,4% in the first three months) and the research team at Knight Frank have just announced that they are expecting further rises throughout the year. This means that in one of the toughest economic times for centuries farmers have to pay record amounts for the land they need. The average value of agricultural land in the UK is currently 6 073 pounds an acre or 15 182,50 pounds per hectare. At an exchange rate of 1.24 euros to the pound that equates to over 18 800 euros per hectare.

Compare this to agricultural land prices here in France. SAFER figures show that untenanted farmland cost an average of 5 430 euros per hectare last year - that's almost one third of the price! Leggett Immobilier is currently marketing over 100 working farms (of all types and with or without farmhouses) for sale across France and has seen a steady and growing increase in interest from across the channel."

Leggett adds: "I saw a farmer quoted recently as saying that farmland is a "safehaven" and that the world's population is growing and that people will always need more food." Add in the fact that it is also tax efficient and underpinned by EU subsidies and it's no wonder that farmland is an attractive choice for investors - I simply believe that it's even more attractive in France. The price of English farmland has rocketed by more than 10,000% in the last 60 years and France certainly gives farmers a cheaper (and sunnier) option!