206ac Carrigans land was first major sale of year, going for €3m
The first major land auction of 2013 was the sale of a 206ac dairy farm at Carrigans, Co Donegal. The farm sold for €3.1m or €15,000/ac, the highest per acre price paid in the region.
Since then, action in the auction rooms of the western and northern counties has been confined mainly to Roscommon, Cavan and Galway.
A total of 29 auctions were looked at for the purposes of the survey. The transactions involved the disposal of 1,399ac for a total of €10,344,500 or an average of €7,400/ac.
After the Donegal auction, the next biggest sale of land in the region was at Lisserdrea, Boyle, Co Roscommon, where Vincent Egan sold a 123ac residential farm for €870,000 or €7,000/ac.
The sale of a 69ac farm at Taughmaconnell, Roscommon, was the next largest and was sold by John Dolan for €495,000 or €7,000/ac. A 52.7ac holding at Fourmilehouse was sold by John Earley for €460,000 or €8,700/ac.
The lowest price was paid for 55ac of forestry at Frenchpark, Co Roscommon which sold for €1,545/ac. Land sales in Cavan recorded prices of between €5,500 and €7,700/ac.
Seven farms were sold for between €1,500 and €5,000/ac, while the bulk of sales fell into the €5,000 to €10,000/ac bracket.
A parcel of 7.5ac at Claregalway, Co Galway, sold by Martin Tyrell of Tuam made €10,000/ac, while a 12ac parcel at Carrownabricka, Roscommon, sold by John Earley also made €10,000.
Mr Earley said €7,000 to €8,000/ac was the usual value of land in the Roscommon area.
"This represents the value of land in the county but on occasion you might get up to €10,000/ac," he said.
While neighbouring farmers are the prime buyers, Mr Earley has seen evidence that "the sons who have emigrated in the last five years are helping the folks at home to buy land in parcels of 10ac and 20ac in their own villages".
Mr Earley sees a return to respect for land as a valuable asset.
"Even after the bust, land prices held up. When everything else lost its value land lost only 30pc and held at that. We must remember that there is €155bn on deposit in this country and much of that will find its way back into land."
Ballaghadereen auctioneer James Kilcoyne said good land would always have a customer.
"Farmers will always pay for good land. In recent weeks I sold seven acres of good ground outside Castlerea and it made €12,000 an acre, a great price for this area," he said.