Land sales collapse by almost 50pc
Average prices down by 12pc as farming 'recession' takes hold
Farm sales almost halved during the first six months of this year compared to 2015 and the average price fell by over €1,000/ac.
A study of auction results published in the first six months of 2015 and 2016 shows that the area of land sold dropped from 6,007ac to 3,303ac, a drop of 45pc.
The value of published land sales also collapsed, falling from €57.8m in 2015 to €27.9m for the January to June period this year.
The average price per acre is also down 12pc on the same period last year, from €9,619/ac to €8,445/ac.
Meanwhile, the number of successful auctions declined by over 36pc, with 105 for early 2015 compared to just 67 recorded in the national press up to the end of June this year.
"People are very apprehensive about farming across all the sectors at the moment and this is evident in land sales and land prices," said Mullingar auctioneer Paul Murtagh. "The general climate around farming is very negative," he said.
Kilkenny auctioneer Joseph Coogan also blamed the downturn in farm incomes for the sales slump .
"While parts of the country might appear to have emerged from recession," he said, "farming is in recession across the board."