High farmland values got even higher in BC in the first half of 2021, according to Farm Credit Canada.
A mid-year report from the federally backed agricultural lender said BC farm property values increased nearly 9% as hobby farmers battled commercial growers for rural properties.
“This is a significant increase considering that British Columbia has the highest land value per acre in Canada,” FCC says.
While the same trend was seen in Quebec and Ontario, where values rose 11.5% over the same period, the increase made the country’s most expensive farmland even more so. The South Coast region, which includes Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, led the country last year with an average value of $100,800 per acre. Sales values in the region maxed out at $156,300 per acre last year, higher than anywhere else in the country.
However, the increase posted this year to date was less than the in the latest 12 months. Between July 2020 and June 2021, farmland values in BC rose by an average of 13.6%.
Some properties are hoping for even greater increases. On Lasqueti Island, a 30-acre biodynamic farm changed hands last summer for $1.2 million and has come back to market for $1.45 million.
FCC says ongoing low interest rates should continue to support land values, but the impact of this summer’s drought remains to be seen.
On the one hand, the drought’s impact on row crops will boost commodity prices, making drought-tolerant sites more valuable. But those high prices also promise to squeeze livestock producers, reducing the value of their properties.
FCC’s analysis of farmland values is based on the middle 90% of sales, excluding the 5% most-expensive properties and the 5% least-expensive properties. In addition, orchard land in the Okanagan is excluded.