'UK-based buyers are now the mainstay of our land sales'
Roscommon-based auctioneer John Earley says UK-based buyers are now the mainstay of his land sales, writes Jim O'Brien.
"Three out of the last four farms I sold were bought with sterling," he said.
"The rate is very attractive and the investment opportunity afforded by the tax incentives gives a great return."
Roscommon as a county experienced a lot of emigration to the UK and many emigrants contemplate coming home or at least owning a piece of 'the old sod.'
But owning a piece of home ground is not just based on blind nostalgia or sentiment, explains Mr Earley, it is based on good financial analysis.
"If a person buys a 50ac farm for €5,000/ac it will cost them £177,000 in sterling. If they lease that land at €150/ac on a long-term lease they will make €7,500 tax-free each year, which is a 3pc tax fee return on their investment.
"No bank or investment house will give you a return like that currently," said Mr Earley
In recent weeks Mr Early sold a 170ac farm to a UK based couple for €1.5m. He also sold a 40ac place with an old dwelling for €250,000 to another UK buyer and he got €380,000 for a 38ac farm from a third UK dweller.