�13m-plus for ‘largest farm sold in Essex in 2011’

A ‘NON-FARMING’ purchaser has snapped up the majority of a large �13million estate on the Essex/Suffolk border as an increasing number of buyers seek out ‘safe havens’ for their money.

Estate agents Savills said it had seen an increasing trend towards non-farming buyers coming onto the market and competing with farmers for properties like the Brook Hall Estate in Long Melford.

The property, which is said to be the largest farm sold in Essex in 2011 was offered up for sale as a whole or in eight lots.

Most lots exceeded their guide price for the estate, which came with a price tag of �13m-plus.

The 1,441.88 acre property, sits two miles south-west of Long Melford in the River Stour valley.

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Head of Savills rural agency in Chelmsford Tim Cooper said: “Brook Hall is one of the finest residential farming estates to have come to the market in East Anglia for many years. It is a fantastic quality cereal farm with good grain storage, beautifully refurbished period farmhouse with award winning gardens and high quality arable land.”

He said non-farming buyers seeking out properties such as Brook Hall were on the increase.

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“The non farming buyers are looking partly for IHT (inheritance tax) reasons but also looking for a safe haven to invest in these turbulent economic times. Land prices have now topped �9,000 an acre in Essex and across East Anglia in some areas land is achieving up to �10,000 an acre.,” he said.

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