Friday 30 September 2016

Land sales collapse by almost 50pc

Average prices down by 12pc as farming 'recession' takes hold

Jim O'Brien

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

The biggest fram to come on the market in 2016 is located in Connacht Ulster region. An Ghrianán consisting of 2,400ac at Speenogue, Burt in Co Donegal is for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €17m
The biggest fram to come on the market in 2016 is located in Connacht Ulster region. An Ghrianán consisting of 2,400ac at Speenogue, Burt in Co Donegal is for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €17m

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.

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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."

The Farming Independent land sales survey is based on the results of successful auctions published in the national press between January and June 2016.

It shows a 66pc drop in auction sales in Connacht-Ulster, along with a similar drop in money generated.

In South Leinster, traditionally one of the busiest regions for farm sales, the acreage sold under the hammer was down 54pc and sales returns were back 60pc.

In Munster, the acreage sold fell by 43pc and the value of published auction results was down 54pc on the same period last year.

The strongest region in 2016 was North Leinster where the acreage of land sold dropped 18pc and the amount of money changing hands in land sales was down 28pc.

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