The head of Savills’ national farms and estates office is disheartened for not replicating the 40,000-acre sale for £249 million on behalf of Co-operative Group last year, but he admits that such an opportunity might not arrive even decades later. He is pleased, however, with a significant number of transactions forestates and farms in excess of a thousand acres: ‘For England, a thousand acres is still pretty rare.’
Lawson sees the amenity estate market and the residential rural market gradually improving. Confident about the performance of rural estates, he feels the market is a ‘really sensible, defensive asset class for a mixed portfolio’.
‘Whether that is for ultra-high-net-worth individuals or wealthy families looking for capital protection, or whether it’s modern or more traditional institutional type purchases, it is felt still to be a very attractive asset class because it’s a very secure investment.’