Farmland Remains A Safe Bet

28 May 2013 FARMLAND is second only to gold in terms of long-term risk and return and investors are increasingly attracted to the sector’s low volatility and high growth track record. This was the conclusion of Chesterton Humberts’ latest rural research report. With average agricultural estate values rising 0.4 per cent to £26,100/hectare (£10,581/acre) in quarter one of 2013, the firm said farmland has out-performed both equities and commodities in terms of value growth and levels of volatility over the past 17 years. This latest report correlates with recent comment from other firms who predict further growth in values this year. Andrew Pearce, head of Chesterton Humberts’ rural agency, said: “Since 1995, average farmland values have risen by 9.2 per cent per annum, well above equities (4.1 per cent) and gilts (7.4 per cent), while returns were much less volatile (12.4 per cent) when compared to oil (51 per cent) and gold (14.7 per cent). This makes it one of the best performing asset classes in terms of low risk and high returns after gold.” The firm’s new index, which monitors growth in agricultural estate values, shows the biggest uplift was seen in the larger transactions, mainly driven by investors seeking opportunities to achieve worthwhile economies of scale. Taylor Scott International

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