City slickers push up farmland prices

Tony Gosling tony at
Wed Aug 4 01:49:59 BST 2004

Neo-surfdom and the price of land

Thanks to David Weston for this

	Land is a natural monopoly, and as such, has never been, nor
can it be, part of a free market system. A free market system is
based on the premise of rising prices being moderated by alternate  supply
sources. With land, there are no alternate supply sources.
	As indicated in the following article, the denial of the
above fact is leading to a new kind of serf/laird relationship - a  kind
of neo-serfdom/neo-lairdism, where the disparity between the  classes
grows wider and wider. Is this the kind of society we are  heading into,
and is it what we want?
David J. W.

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----,1456,1272663,00.html

Money  >  Special reports  >  House prices
City slickers push up farmland prices

Press Association
Friday July 30, 2004

The price of farmland has soared to a record high as people from the  City
continue to buy up rural retreats, figures showed today.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said the cost of 
farmland rose by 16% during the past year as demand continued to
outstrip supply.

It said much of the rise was driven by so-called lifestyle buyers 
snapping up rural land and property, with non-farmers accounting for  43%
of sales during the three months to the end of June.

The group said demand from non-farmers had been driven by a pick up  in
the economy and the associated increase in City bonuses.

RICS rural spokesman, Julian Sayers, said: "The high demand, which is 
particularly evident in the West Midlands and Wales, is in part
driven by relatively poor investment returns in other asset classes.

"There is also the common dream of owning part of the British
countryside. So far interest rate rises do not seem to be affecting  buyer

During the year to the end of June farmland prices averaged a record 
£8,630 per hectare.

Surveyors said the price rise was being exacerbated by a decline in  the
amount of land coming on to the market, largely due to the
uncertainty created by the mid-term review of the Common Agricultural 

At the same time demand for land increased at its fastest pace during  the
three months to the end of June since RICS began the survey in  1999.

The group added that demand for land with a house on it also rose,  but at
a slower pace than during the first quarter of the year.

The cost of farmland is expected to continue increasing over the
coming 12 months reflecting the shortage of land coming on to the  market.
The price of land which comes with a farmhouse is expected to  rise to
higher amounts.

Tony Gosling - +44 117 944 6219
mobile +44 7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery" [TG]

All emails are 'cleartext' to the NSA.

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