Buoyant land prices reflect resilience of farming sector
A look at the property pages in this week's edition confirms not only the strength of the land market but also the resilience of the farming sector.
The results show that farmers are once again paying over €10,000/ac for farmland and up to €15,000/ac in exceptional cases.
This is not a localised phenomenon. Over the last fortnight some fancy prices have been paid for land from Louth to Limerick and further south to Cork.
Despite last year's disastrous cereal and cattle prices, and the ongoing uncertainty in the dairy sector, farmers' appetite for land appears to be holding.
The strongest prices are obviously available in the better farming areas, with between €13,000/ac and €15,000/ac now being paid in some regions.
Asked what is driving the market, one auctioneer in the south had a very interesting perspective.
He said the uncertainty over the last three years regarding land eligibility and entitlements had resulted in the withdrawal of land that was usually rented. Farms that had been destined for sale were also held back.
He said the majority of these holdings were 'farmed' by the property owners for the last few years so that entitlements could be established.