Farm rents rise 4% with surge in short-term deals

Fife and the Lothians had the highest rents. Picture: Michael Gillen
Fife and the Lothians had the highest rents. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Farm rents rose to average out at £40 per hectare (£16.20 per acre) in the past year according to the annual statistical report on tenanted agricultural land drawn up by the Scottish Government.

Highlighting a 4 per cent increase on the year (2 per cent after accounting for inflation), less favoured area land averaged £27 per hectare (£10.90 per acre) while good cropping land averaged £137 per hectare (£55.40 per acre).

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There was, however, a considerable variation in values – with the report finding that in recent years there had been a reduction in the area of land rented under cheaper, long-term rental arrangements, and an increase in shorter-term limited duration tenancies.

“These arrangements are often more expensive, and this has driven up the overall average cost of renting,” stated the report.

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Looking at the broader picture, it also found that there had been little increase in rents between 1998 and 2008, meaning that rents declined in real terms.

But since then there had been above-inflation increases bringing values broadly into line with 1998 levels again. These figures, however, were based on general inflation values rather than on the costs and prices of farm inputs and outputs.

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Reflecting land types and productivity levels, the north-west region reported the lowest rents, with Shetland and Na h-Eileanan Siar showing the lowest rates of around £3 per hectare (£1.20 per acre).

Rents in the North-east and south-east were then generally higher, while Fife and the Lothians had the highest rents, with 75 per cent of those sampled paying more than £74 per hectare (£30 per acre).

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