The end of year Rural Property review from FPDSavills struck a positive note, despite the continued problems in British farming.
Hugh Coghill, head of rural property at FPDSavills, said: ‘There are always opportunities in property whether it is an intelligent use of grants or the important new market of renewable energy. Ultimately, rural businesses must assess why they exist. Are landowners and farmers simply custodians for the next generation or is the aim to create further wealth too? If the recessive worries of 2002 enable us to assess these issues and drive forward enterprises more efficiently, we should look on the situation with great favour.’
Key issues affecting farmers last year, included the advent of right to buy in Scotland and the Land Registration Act 2002.
In 2002, the Scottish Parliament took a step closer to making the Land Reform Bill into law, following debates over whether local tenant communities should have the right to buy land in the event of local farming properties being offered for sale.
Guy Galbraith, spokesman for the Edinburgh office of FPDSavills, said: ‘The right to buy is bound to slow down the sale procedure. On one hand the minister proposing the Bill wishes to expand land occupied by agricultural tenants, but in the same speech, he indicated giving tenants a pre-emptive right to buy. If the latter prevails, no more land will be offered for let by landlords under the proposed new style of agricultural leases.’
The Land Registration Act 2002 requires most transfers of value relating to property to be noted with the Land Registry. This could have serious repercussions for landowners who hold unregistered title and are subsequently repossessed.