Land prices in east stay at record levels

Farmland prices have remained at record levels, according to chartered surveyors.

Prices have doubled in the last five years and the average price was �6,514 an acre, the RICS Land Market survey has indicated.

Growing interest from commercial farmers was the main driver.

The RICS survey uses an opinion based measure, which is based on estimates of bare land prices by surveyors and does not take the residential elements into account.

Simon Pott, who is a RICS spokesman in the east of England, said: 'Land prices in the East of England reached record levels once again towards the end of 2011, as commercial farmers looked to capitalise on profitability in the sector by expanding their businesses.

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'Furthermore, it would seem that this trend could be set to continue over the next 12 months. However, the outlook is slightly more mixed for farmland which is more geared towards the residential sector reflecting the broader national housing picture.'

David Hooper, of the Norwich office of Brown & Co, said: 'Continuing demand and lack of supply has driven prices to unprecedented levels in Norfolk and Suffolk. Pressure on output prices and rising input costs may affect this trend in 2012, but only if supply increases.' Jeremy Zeid, of Carter Jonas, Cambridge, said: 'The market for blocks of arable land remains strong with demand outstripping supply.'

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