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Chinese move in 'for their little piece of England'

By Juwai, 30 August 2012

Overseas investors are expected to buy up farmland in the South West in an ongoing trend which is pushing up prices to over £5,000 an acre. The trend means English farmland has trebled in value over the past decade.

However, buyers these days are increasingly coming from the sub-continent and Far East – China and India. Overseas sales have been limited to the eastern part of the region, principally Wiltshire and Dorset, but the foreign buyers are expected to start looking westward in the coming years.

Farmland prices have increased enormously over the past 10 years, rising by three times in some parts of England. These farmlands are commonly viewed by international investors as a safer haven than the stock market and are particularly attractive to Chinese investors. "

The rolling arable acres of East Anglia and the East Midlands have proved most popular with overseas buyers, with prices pushing £8,000 an acre.

In terms of reasons to purchase, investment is given as the reason in 27% of all purchases, which is an increase on last year. In Devon and Cornwall, the majority of sales are to farmers, often seeking to increase their land holdings by buying neighbouring farms. 

Read more from this story on Western Morning News.