The first step to setting yourself up with an affordable home is to find a suitable plot of land. The links below may be of assistance to you, but we also recommend keeping your eyes open when traveling around the country. You may find a bargain.


If you take the trouble to look around you may also find land that does not belong to anyone that you can claim. As you might imagine there is not much of that about. But it does exist.


What you will find is that there are a lot of farmers/landowners/estate agents asking fantastically high sums for grazing  land in the hope of making a killing. The danger here is that there are people silly enough to pay well over the odds, which gives other landowners fancy ideas. There are not many philanthropists about. 




Sites that are said to be of Special Scientific Interest, should be avoided like the plague. Even where there are no species to protect, Natural England will hound an owner and then feast over his or her carcass - with costs and fines. To all extents the land is worthless. It will cost more to administer than it may be worth for grazing. To challenge an SSSI is far too expensive and the civil servants who operate for Natural England may lie as to scientific value, to protect their jobs, build their part and worse, interfere with nature - in trying to increase numbers of species, where that in un-natural. It sounds harsh, but it is true.




This is why we are advocating that councils use their powers to acquire land compulsorily. If councils where to do this, the price of development land would tumble - so making homes more affordable.


The present situation is that councils will not use their statutory powers, mainly because they (long standing planning and other officers or members in positions of trust) quite often benefit secretly from keeping land prices artificially high. It is a sad indictment of our society, but there are not many other plausible reasons as to why the present sloth exists, where they have a duty to the public to identify and earmark land for affordable development. Councils are therefore not the friend of those trying to get on the property ladder and if they are not your friend, then that makes them your enemy. It's a case of "I'm all right Jack."




We are advocating that property development companies must do at least 50% of their projects as affordable zero carbon units. This would be one way of redressing the inequality which exists today. Where at the moment this is voluntary, it should be made a hard and fast statutory requirement.



Cost of farmland increased 2% to 6,783 an acre as commercial farmers expand production of cereals to take advantage of rising prices

The constant rain and lack of sunshine that damaged crop harvests last year have failed to dampen rural land prices, which reached record levels in 2012, according to a report by the chartered surveyors body RICS.

The cost of farmland increased 2% in the second half of 2012 to 6,783 an acre while farmland with one or more homes on it increased by the same percentage to 8,520.

RICS said prices were driven primarily by the demand from commercial farmers "who remain keen to expand production given high agricultural commodity prices in many sectors", despite a poor harvest in 2012.

Land prices have risen sharply since 2009, when a commodity price shock sent wheat and barley prices spiralling. Cereals have remained highly prized on world markets and remain the driving force of the demand for rural farmland, said RICS.

"Price increases are being driven predominately by commercial farmers, who remain keen to expand production given high agricultural commodity prices in many sectors."

Prime agricultural land has grown strongly while less fertile land has been left behind. Part of the reason is the collapse in sheep and lamb prices, which have fallen following an influx of cheap imports from Australia and New Zealand. Many sheep farmers have been forced to sell up at distressed prices.

According to the latest figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, cereal prices increased by 38% in 2012. By contrast, sheep and lamb prices have fallen 28% since November 2011.

But an influx of foreign and City investors, keen to safeguard their money during a period of economic turmoil, have also pushed up prices after a period when many quit the UK land market.

A recent report by the estate agents Savills forecast that prices will grow 40% over the next five years on average, a trend that will mirror the rise in prime residential land in central London, it said. The highest rises were in the east of the country and the south west. East Anglia topped the price charts at 8,074 an acre.

Germans remain one of the biggest foreign investors alongside Irish and Greek investors.

Savills said another reason for the jump in values was the lack of land coming to market, reducing the supply at a time of bouyant demand.

It said 134,000 acres of land was marketed across Britain in 2012 compared with 155,00 the year before, a 14% decline.




Latest figures show that agricultural land prices rose by 3.7% in the last quarter, with the average price of land now at an all time high - 2.3% above the previous record reached in summer 2011.

Furthermore, the latest RICS Rural Land Market Survey reports that farmland prices increased by 11% in the last 6 months of 2011 resulting in an annual increase of 19%. This rise now means that farmland is over treble the price being achieved 10 years ago and almost doubles that of 5 years ago.

Looking ahead, property agents and surveyors agree that the current trend in rising land prices to continue and that the medium term prospects for farmland (in terms of capital growth) are extremely positive and an excellent hedge against inflation.

There are many national and international factors driving land price higher, including:

* Global downturn in the economy
* A predicted 40% rise in world population by 2050, resulting in;
* Increased demand for food and therefore commodity prices
* These sharp increases in food prices continue to encourage farmers to expand production
* A weak pound has buoyed the market, making land more attractive for overseas buyers
* Overseas buyers, lifestyle purchasers and farmers all competing for land for sale
* Increasing demand outstripping an extremely limited supply of land

At present the rise in land prices is partly due to the ongoing economic troubles in the Eurozone and other parts of the world in fact the ongoing global economic troubles only seem to enhance farmland's reputation as a safe-haven asset.

With no clear end in sight to the problems there is a strong desire to get money into something solid and tangible. As land prices rise, buyers can use their asset for a number of uses from farming to grazing and paddock conversion or for recreational or amenity purposes.



LINKS - Burgess Hill - Eastbourne - Heathfield






CLC (Council Licensed Conveyancers)
16 Glebe Road

tel: 01245 349599 (switchboard)
fax: 01245 341300





GreenMoves - Dedicated 'eco property for sale' website.

Pick Up a Property - A leading UK website for sourcing property in need of renovation.







  Sustainable housing wards logo 2012

 (Prices liable to fluctuation due to volatility of the international timber market)




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