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How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth (Plus What Will It Cost?)

How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth - Plus What Will It Cost large

You may be wondering how much an acre of land is worth. This might be because you want to buy more land to increase the size of your garden. Or you may be looking to buy farmland to keep some horses. But whatever your reason it’s important to know how much an acre is worth.

An acre of land is worth at least £5,000-£7,000 per acre as pasture or £7,000-£9,000 as arable land. But the value of an acre of farmland will cost more to buy if it’s converted into a garden. However, its worth will be even higher if planning permission is granted for a housing development.

What are the dimensions of an acre of land?

If you have a plot of land with dimensions of 208.71 feet (63.61 metres) by 208.71 feet this would equal an acre of land, which is 43,560 square feet (4,047 square metres). This is also equivalent to 0.4047 hectares.

How you visualise an acre of land

The best way to visualise an acre of land is to imagine a football pitch, which is 330 feet (101 metres) by 210 feet (64 metres). This equates to 69,300 square feet (6,464 square metres), which is just over one and a half acres.

But if you include the side lines and the area behind the goal, this would be around two acres in total.

Another way to visualise an acre of land is to see it as just over three olympic sized swimming pools. Each olympic swimming pool measures 164 feet (50 metres) by 82 feet (25 metres) or 13,448 square feet (1,250 metres).

How much is an acre of land worth with planning permission?

What an acre of land is worth will depend on what planning permission the land has granted on it. But let’s begin with what an acre of farmland is worth.

How much does 1 acre of land usually cost?

  • An acre of arable land is worth on average £8,329 (Land quality Prime: £9,327; Average: £8,245 Poor: £7,416).
  • An acre of land for pasture is worth on average £6,382 (Land quality Prime: £7,642; Average: £6,162 Poor: £5,343).

* An acre of land values for arable and pasture source: Farmers Weekly. But the value of farmland will depend on the location of the land.

Land values by land type over past 25 years

Land values by region over past 25 years

Historical land values across the UK

Historically the value of residential land is roughly 67% of the total value of UK homes. Which means that when the average house price across the UK in November 2020 was £249,633, the land value would have been £167,254 (i.e. £249,633 x 67%).

The balance of the total average house price relates to the structure (i.e. the house itself), which in this case would be £82,379 (i.e. £249,633 – £167,254).

This would imply that if a house is built on an acre plot and is worth in total £1,000,000, the acre of land is worth £670,000. If you want to know how much land is worth where you live, first work out how much the property is worth including the structure, then calculate 67% of this value.

How much is garden land worth?

The value of garden land is worth much more than farmland. This is because it adds value to your property. But how much garden land is worth will depend on the location of the land.

Don’t expect your local farmer to sell you an acre of land for what it’s worth as farmland. You are probably going to pay upwards of £25,000 for an acre of land from a farmer to change it into a garden. However, you’ll need to apply for planning permission for change of use.

The farmer who sells you the farmland may also want an overage on the land. Overage simply means they would have a right to recoup more money if you profit from the land in some way.

This may include turning the land into a development plot. If you developed the land by building houses on it, the the farmer may have an overage clause meaning you would have to pay an extra pre-agreed sum for the uplift in value over the original purchase price.

What is the price of building land per acre?

The price of an acre of building land is going to be in excess of £1 million in the south, whereas in the north this might be around £300,000 per acre. Building land is at a premium and the cost will depend on location and the type of planning permission granted.

Will an acre of land add value to your house?

An acre of land will usually add value to your house. You should aim to pay less for the acre of land than the uplift in value of your property as a result of the addition of the extra land. But be aware that not everyone wants a very large garden.

Your garden should be in proportion to the size of the house. But this works both ways. If the garden is too small for the house this will make it more difficult to sell. So it would be a good idea to increase the size of the garden by purchasing extra land. But whether you should buy an extra acre is another matter to consider.

But on the other hand the garden can be too big for the size of the property. Homeowners who buy small houses don’t necessarily want very large gardens.

With this in mind you might like to read this article about which is better; a bigger house or a bigger garden. You might be interested to find out from this article the result of how many homeowners prefer a small house with a large garden vs a large garden with a small garden.

My personal experience on what an acre of land will add to the value of your house is two-fold:

  1. I purchased the wood behind our house and the next door neighbour, which is 68 x 68 metres. This makes it 4,624 square metres, or just over an acre of land. This is not agricultural or farmland, but it illustrates the point that it added value to my property. I paid £19k for this land, and I’d say it added at least £50k to the value of my home. However, it makes a difference that the property I live in is already large, with an already pretty large garden, and can accommodate a much larger garden too (i.e. it’s expected).
  2. My wife and I recently turned down buying a new home, as the garden (or in this case a very small courtyard garden) was too small for the house. Which means if you have a large house with a small garden, and if you have the opportunity to buy some farmland at a reasonable price, you should consider this. Where this property was located meant there wouldn’t be the opportunity to buy additional land.

How much should you pay for additional garden land?

If you assume the land value of a property is 67% of its total value. Then if the extra land you intend to buy adds £20,000 to the total value of the property, the land is worth about £13,400 (i.e. £20,000 x 67% = £13,400).

Your best way to know how much the extra land will add to your property is to speak with a local estate agent. Most estate agents are happy to provide this advice on the basis they hope you will use them in the future if you decide to sell.

The final price paid for the plot of land will be down to negotiation.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article about how much is an acre of land worth

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How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth (Plus What Will It Cost?)

Article written by Russell Bowyer who has been investing in property since purchasing his first commercial property in the 1990's for his own Chartered Accountancy business. But his first property investment project was to turn an old dilapidated restaurant into a large 5-bed home, which he purchased for £117,500 and sold for £450,000 (to see an "after" photo of the house before it was sold see here: About). Russell owns a number of investment properties, which includes houses, flats and HMO's. More recently he has turned his creative side to investing in property using lease options. His largest lease option deal to date was to acquire 12 properties worth over £2 million for just £12, which means he paid just £1 to acquire each property!

8 thoughts on “How Much Is An Acre Of Land Worth (Plus What Will It Cost?)

  1. Very good article. Would you kindly advise what taxes owning an acre of arable land attracts? I am looking at buying but don’t want to get clobbered with council or land taxes every year.

    1. Hi James, thank you for your comment and question about farmland taxes. I will answer this broadly and on the basis that you will seek professional advice if and when you buy any farmland for yourself (just in case rules change too). Farmland is exempt from business rates, and on the assumption from your question it is just land you are looking to purchase, i.e. no properties on the land, then there won’t be any council tax either.

      You will need to check with a solicitor whether or not you will have to pay Stamp Duty (SDLT) when you purchase agricultural land.

  2. Yesterday I met with the person who owns a field behind our house about potentially buying it. So this was really useful thanks.

    1. Hi William, thank you for your comment and feedback, always very welcome. Good luck with buying the land and please come back and let me know how it goes.

  3. We wish to purchase 0.1 acre of land from our neighbour who Is a farmer. It allows us to straighten or boundary and have a better view when we build a 1 bedroom apartment to the side of our property.

    He’s quoting nearly £20,000 with VAT and land agent fees. It appears rather excessive, what would your estimate be?

    1. Hi Joanna, thank you for your comment and question.

      I will admit this seems an excessive charge for 0.1 of an acre and he maybe taking a bit of advantage of the situation. But the land is worth more to you as a plot than it is to him as agricultural or farming land. I not you say “with VAT”, which implies he has “Opted To Tax” on the land. It might be worth checking this with him, as he maybe thinking he needs to add VAT when he doesn’t. For example, if the land isn’t opted to tax, no VAT will be chargeable and this will make it cheaper.

      I suggest you clarify this with him and then also see if you can negotiate him down from the £20k. But for you, it’s worth considering how much this will add value to your property once you’ve purchased it, because if it does add at least as much as £20k, you may not want to do the transaction. I hope this helps.

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