The demand for farmland in the West Midlands remains high despite a property slowdown in other parts of the countryside.
A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said the increase in interest rates and slowdown in the housing market had had only a muted effect on farmland sales.
Prices continue to increase, with the West Midlands one of the strongest regions in the UK for market conditions, RICS said. However, sales in the first part of 2005 were abnormally low and the introduction of the new Single Farm Payment scheme as part of Common Agricultural Policy reforms is thought to have brought some temporary uncertainty in the market.
Nick Barlow, of Barlow Associates and regional rural spokesperson for RICS West Midlands, said: "We are currently seeing very little land coming on to the market, though what is available is selling well."
"Farmers and landowners began submitting their Single Farm Payment forms in April for the May 16 deadline and we will have to wait and see how this affects the market."
The scheme will sever the links between subsidies and levels of production and instead pay farmers according to the amount of land they farm. In the UK, farmland prices dropped by 2.9 per cent between January and March 2005, although they are up 14 per cent over the past year and 30 per cent over the past two.