Equestrian big hitters driving a mini-boom
The land market in North Leinster is the story of the year where the amount of land sold under the hammer increased by 97pc on 2014 and the amount of money paid at auction increased by 110pc.
Average prices surpassed 2013 levels after falling by 6.37pc in 2014. This year North Leinster land more than recovered that loss, surpassing the 2013 average by €28 to finish at €10,098/ac.
This survey looked at 58 successful auctions held in Dublin, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford and Offaly. In all 3,241ac were sold under the hammer, up from 1,642ac in 2014, while the amount of money parted with in the auction rooms totalled €32.7m, a massive increase on the €15.59m spent in 2014.
The most expensive property sold was the 383ac Claremont Estate near Milltownpass. The residential farm with a splendid Victorian courtyard was bought under the hammer of Paul Murtagh by Tony and Anne O'Callaghan of Tally-Ho stud for €3.5m or €9,138/ac.
North Leinster was also home to the biggest farm sold at auction in 2015. The property known as 'Little Budds' on the shores of Lough Ennell stretched to 408ac and was sold by Ganly Walters to a Scottish buyer for €1.95m or €4,779/ac.
Aside from Little Budds four other farms in North Leinster made more than €1m and these included a 100ac farm at Mayne, Clonee, Co Meath bought by a Turkish buyer for €1.5m. A 109ac grass farm at Killeigh in Co Offaly made €1.31m in a variety of lots under the gavel of Portarlington auctioneer, Matt Dunne, while John Harrington of Smith Harrington, Navan sold a 61ac residential farm at Collierstown, Navan for €1.125m or a strong €18,444/ac. The last farm in the million euro bracket was a 137ac tillage farm at Rath, Streete, Co Westmeath sold by Paul Murtagh for €1.01m.
In a clear sign that farmers may not have the land market to themselves for much longer the two strongest per acre prices in the country were paid for land with development potential in North Leinster. A 9ac parcel of farmland with such potential at Dunshaughlin in Co Meath sold for €75,550/ac at the May Allsops auction, while a 16ac parcel of similar Dunshaughlin land sold at the same auction for €58,125/ac.