With combined experience of more than 50 years in forestry sales, Mike Tustin and John Clegg reveal in the review that: “The last 12 months has recorded the strongest property trading conditions we have ever seen. Buying a woodland property full of growing commodities should be seen as a good hedge against inflation that no other investment class can match.
The smaller commercial mixed end of the market is selling often for figures well ahead of guide, although it is taking longer from launch to sale agreed."
The review, which delivers an expert commentary on the current woodland market and an evaluation of future trends, also highlights a surge in prices for firewood with 25% increases being seen over the year and strong competition to buy stock, while warning that once the supply of windblown timber from Storm Arwen is worked through, there could be a shortage of standing crops to work in spring 2023.
Two other major areas of concern pinpointed by Tustins are a worrying reduction in forestry skills available to advise clients, which is affecting the market, along with red tape inflicted on the industry by the English and Welsh governments. The review highlights that “Forestry Commission England and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) need to take a very hard look at their procedures and regulations as the potential for income streams that outstrip the bare timber values mean that new properties are likely to have a really solid future.
“Never has the basic ‘plant trees, absorb carbon, produce timber, enhance biodiversity’ message been more relevant, but this is not reflected in the raft of government departments who all seem to think they can say ‘no’ to nearly all planting.”
“With timber price confidence at a three year low as a result of the Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis, we are now seeing a slowdown in the rate of growth in forestry values at the premium mainly commercial end of the market but no one is losing their shirts,” added the review.