Knight Frank, Miller Harris sold Scottish largest estates for over R198m

Posted On Monday, 30 June 2014 10:49 Published by
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Knight Frank & Miller Harris have sold one of the largest Scottish estates to be put up for sale in recent years, Auch & Invermearan, for over its £11m guide price.

Auch  Invermearan Scottland

Clive Hopkins, Head of Knight Frank Farms and Estates, comments: "The sale of Auch and Invermearan is not only one of the largest sales north of the border but also one of largest sales in the UK this year, despite the upcoming Referendum. Following on from the sale of The Shakenhurst Estate, which remains the largest sale this year in the estate market, we have seen a diverse spread of interest and confidence in the UK estate market this year."

The 28,300-acre Auch & Invermearan Estate in Argyllshire and Perthshire offers a stunning landscape and amazing sporting opportunities, but the significant income potential from generating hydro-electricity attracted much of the interest.

Ran Morgan, Head of Knight Frank Scotland, comments: "Despite all the hype over independence, there is a real appetite for Scottish land holdings from investors, especially from overseas. They are particularly interested in estates that can produce significant income in the form of renewable energy, a massive resource for Scotland, or via a commercial agri-business.

"This is the second £10m+ sale that we have completed in the last 18 months that has attracted interest from around the globe and been sold to investors out with Scotland."

The latest results from Knight Frank's Scottish Farmland Index highlight the strength of the market. In spite of the impending referendum, the ongoing land reform debate and changes to farm support payments under the Common Agricultural Policy, average values edged up by 2% in the first half of 2014.

James Denne, Head of Knight Frank Northern Farm Sales, comments: "Of course there is some uncertainty, but there is a lot more confidence in the market, particularly for good arable land, than you might imagine," Farmland values are now 8% higher than they were 12 months ago and 223% up on the decade.

In total, Auch & Invermearan has the potential for 15 hydro-electric schemes, one of which has already been commissioned, generating a gross income of £245,000 in its first year of operation. A further three sites have been granted planning consent and the necessary licences.

With the government drastically reducing the financial support available for more controversial on-shore wind farms and large ground-mounted solar-PV farms, hydro schemes still attract generous incentives.

Auch & Invermearan also includes a six-bedroomed lodge and seven cottages. The farming operation involves an 8,200-head flock of hefted Scottish Blackface sheep and around 150 beef cows.

For the sporting enthusiast, eight Munros and an array of glens and deep corries provide the ideal terrain for deer stalking, and there is also extensive salmon and sea trout fishing on the River Orchy and River Lyon.

Because the two rivers enter the sea on different sides of Scotland, Auch & Invermearan offers fishermen the unusual opportunity to catch Salmon that have swum up from both the east and west coasts on a single estate.

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