Land prices down slightly in the east
Trends in the land market seem to indicate that land prices are at best steady and are slightly down on previous years, reports Jim O'Brien.
The late spring and the wet weather that afflicted the country for the first four months of the year certainly delayed the start of the auction season, with nothing of substance happening until May.
Sherry FitzGerald in their first analysis of the land market for 2016 detect a drop of 1.5pc in the average per acre price paid for farmland up to June of this year.
The survey found that the average price for farmland in the first half of the year was €9,650/ac, back €100/ac on the same period last year when the average was €9,750/ac. The average price for marginal land at €6,650/ac is down 0.4pc.
The poor prices for milk, beef and grain, along with the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote, have hit land sales in terms of volume and price.
Not all is doom and gloom, however. Willie Coonan of REA Coonans Maynooth says their first seven months trading in 2016 showed a slightly upward trend in prices with "an excellent turnover of farms particularly by auction."
According to Mr Coonan, prices varied from €8,000/ac to €10,000/ac in Westmeath; and €12,000/ac to €14,000/ac in Kildare, Meath and Dublin. The highest price paid was €23,000/ac for a 16ac equestrian farm near Kilcock.
These figures are based on the sale of 600ac of ground spread over 15 farm holdings, the largest of which was a 115ac farm, with several in the 30ac to 50ac category.