It was Tom and Barbara in the 1970s, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in the 1990s, and now it is the turn of post-lockdowners to search for a slice of the good life.
Driven by a desire to gain space and avoid the masses in Sainsbury’s by cultivating a degree of self-sufficiency, urbanites are queuing up to buy smallholdings — places with less than 50 acres to cultivate and rear animals on.
“We are inundated with people looking for smallholdings here in west Wales,” says Carol Peett, the managing director of West Wales Property Finders. “They are like gold dust and are going under offer at full asking price or over. One — which cannot be viewed until next week — has 35 viewings booked for it and another went for the asking price the first day it was on the market, sight unseen.”
However, Peet, who has her own smallholding, says: “Many do not appreciate what is involved in owning and running one and simply have no idea of what the 15 acres, or whatever they are asking for, looks like. Many have the idea of the rural idyll — with chickens, goats, sheep and a cow for milk — with absolutely no idea of what it involves.”……….
She has seen an increase in interest in the courses, which are booked up into 2021. “I think post-lockdown people are re-evaluating their lives.” Harry Gladwin, a partner at The Buying Solution, a buying agency, in the Cotswolds, agrees. “Everything is amplified at the moment with so many people looking to move out of cities. There is more competition for any smallholdings that come to the open market. People are more aware of wanting to be self-sufficient and not being totally reliant on supermarkets.”
The price of doing so is becoming ever higher. The “holy grail” of a four to five-bedroom house with outbuildings and 10 acres of land in a prime area of the Cotswolds can cost £2 million to £4 million, and will still likely need renovation. In Wales property is cheaper, although here too prices are increasing. Peet says: “Two years ago you could get a nice smallholding, a cottage with a few acres, for £250,000. Now you will pay £450,000.”
Farmland, of all types, costs an average of £6,690 an acre, 0.5 per cent higher than in June last year, according to Savills. Alex Lawson, the estate agency’s head of farms and estates, says: “Demand for lifestyle and amenity farmland continues to surge. Analysis of buyer numbers during the second quarter of 2020 shows roughly double the number compared to the same period last year. Indeed, this pent-up demand is evident across the farmland market.”
The Sunday Times – 2nd August 2020 – https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/home/buy-a-smallholding-in-the-uk-and-live-the-good-life-gwpmp9k2g
If you are looking to move to Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire or Ceredigion, or buy a property here, give West Wales Property Finders a call on 01834 862816. We can find your perfect property for you whilst saving you time, stress and often money too – 01834 862816 http://www.westwalespropertyfinders.co.uk