The dream of many moguls worldwide – the English country estate – is not looking as lucrative as it used too.
Despite strong agricultural commodity prices, a tumble in tourism income - amid the wettest summer in a century - and a drop in rents for rural office and storage, has slowed the rise in estates' gross income to an average of 1.7%.
"Over the past two years, the rate [of growth] has weakened," said Savills, which compiles an annual survey on estates ranging in size from 1,000 to 20,000 hectares.
The average estate surveyed would be, on farmland price estimates from chartered surveyor body Rics, worth some £26m on bare land values alone, before taking the likes of houses and buildings into account.
Agricultural income accounts for some 35% of estate income, raising its contribution a little from levels around 32% five years ago, before the rally in grain prices kicked in, Savills said.
Indeed, thanks to the strong farm product prices, contributions are especially strong for estate owners farming their land themselves, rising by 19%, rather than those relying on rents – which rose by just 0.5%.
The low rate of rental income growth may in part be a statistical anomaly due to contract restructurings which are seeing tenant farmers hand back assets such as unutilised cottages, the property consultancy said.
Residential property is staying stable in contributing some 40% of estate income.
However, income from leisure is falling, with the decline particularly notable in the south west of England, a key tourism area, where takings are down to £15 per acre – down 35% in three years.
"A weak economic climate has clearly had an effect on this sector," Savills said, with tourism officials blaming poor weather for the industry's poor performance this year too.
And commercial income, from assets such as barns converted into offices or shops, is down to a 13% contribution, a drop of three points year on year.
"The recession has put pressure on the commercial sector," the company said, noting a 6% drop in office rents, in terms of charges per square foot, and 15% plunge in rents for let industrial units.
However, the overall result to estate owners of the changing dynamics was a continuation of a trend of income growth which, while weaker this year, has continued its uptrend for more than a decade, even amid a period of stark economic instability.
"Rural estates remain resilient to [economic uncertainty] with net income growth just keeping pace with inflation," Savills said.
"The diversity of business assets on rural estates has ensured a steadily growing income stream in stark contrast to many farm businesses, where income is often concentrated in one sector and exposed to output price volatility."