2009 was the quietest year in the last decade for all types of fishery properties coming to the market with the period proving particularly difficult for both buyers and sellers, according to Fisheries4sale.com, the UK's leading specialist in the sale, aquisition and valuation of fisheries which is run by chartered surveyors Fenn Wright.
The company says that whilst there are still a good number of genuine purchasers looking to acquire all types of fisheries throughout the country, in many cases
they cannot proceedable until finance is raised. "All the High Street Banks have tightened their lending criteria significantly, which has had an adverse effect on the market. In many cases transactions have taken considerably longer whilst funding is sought and then approved," the Fenn Wright's 2010 Review says.
In common with the remainder of the property market prices fell further during the year, especially where there was a residential property involved. Another contributing factor was the business purchasers continued to look for a higher yield from their investment.
"The importance of maximising profit in year end accounts can not be emphasised enough, and the likelihood is that although bank lending may become slightly more flexible during the next year or so, interest rates are likely to start to increase. Fishery businesses must be able to demonstrate sufficient profit to provide for interest and repayments as well as an owners return," the Review added.
A further problem facing prospective and existing fishery owners is that the cost of making planning applications is set to soar in the coming years.
A review of planning fees carried out by the Government early in 2009 recommended a 10 per cent increase across the board for all planning fees. The construction of fisheries was included in the same pricing band as mineral extraction, with the result that an average planning application for a fishery could cost in the region of £20,000 compared to a previous cost of approximately £2,000. Fees are now to be reduced back to a reasonable level £1,690 per application.
However, the cost of submitting a planning application for the construction of lakes is increasing year by year as local authorities are insisting on far more detailed
information including Environmental Surveys and Flood Risk Assessments which all add to the cost of the application.
Looking forward to the current year, Fenn Wright believes the number of instructions for all types of fisheries will increase as vendors, for varying reasons, look to sell. The primary reason is often retirement as many fisheries were started up in the 20 years.
The market evidence for 2009 shows that where properties are marketed with realistic prices, sales can be agreed and completed.