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Smallholders selling up as costs soar?
9:52am Wednesday 27th July 2011 in Property
Rural homes come onto market as smallholders feel the pinch due to rocketing costs An increasing number of rural houses with land are coming on the market in Shropshire and Cheshire as spiraling maintenance costs and vulnerable incomes force smallholders to rethink their lifestyles, says a leading chartered surveyor.
Global grain prices have escalated, pushing up the cost of livestock and horse feed and high energy and utility bills are falling on the doormats daily.
The cost, both in terms of the financial requirements and the time commitment, should not be under estimated.
“Many smallholders are starting to feel the pinch, particularly if their main job is in jeopardy or has been lost,” said Sarah Reece, property specialist with chartered surveyors Berrys at Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
“The attraction of living in the countryside with your animals on your own land can lose its appeal if you can't afford to pay the bills.Some smallholders are looking to sell up, cash in their asset and downsize while the price of land remains at an all-time high.
There should be no shortage of buyers for a smallholding with a well maintained house and a productive parcel of land, providing the guide price is realistic,” she said.
But whereas many smallholders in the past wanted land for horses, pets or other leisure purposes, there is now a bigger demand from buyers looking to use the land to grow their own food in a more self sufficient lifestyle.
“The price of agricultural land is at an all time high so it makes sense to cash in while the market is strong. particularly when the rest of the residential property market shows little prospect of picking up in the short term.”