Stabilising of prices a sign farming land has hit bottom
FARMLAND prices stabilised last year, in the latest sign that the market in agricultural land is bottoming out.
According to property agents Ganly Walters, the average price paid for agricultural land across the entire country in 2013 was €10,500 per acre, almost flat on 2012's figure of €10,586 per acre.
That flattening of the market was hailed by Ganly Walters managing director Robert Ganly.
"This is a remarkably similar figure to that paid in 2012, so small a decrease overall nationally at just €86 per acre has to be totally insignificant", he said.
Mr Ganly's firm is forecasting an increase in prices this year.
"We are currently experiencing a strong demand that looks set to continue for the year.
"With the good winter so far and the likelihood of substantial yields, coupled with a strong performance in the dairy sector, we expect values are likely to increase by as much as 5pc overall in 2014", he claimed.
For the second year running, the volume of land coming to market was up year-on-year, something that was "highly promising" he claimed.
Land sales nationally increased by as much as 13pc, last year.
Nationwide a little under 13,500 acres changed hands during the year in 232 deals. That compared to 2012, when 209 deals covering 12,100 acres went through.
"Not only was there a larger amount of acreage and more sales last year, but the total number of farms and holdings at 590 and the approximate 43,000 acres put on the market in 2013 was higher.
"In 2012 there were 562 farms and holdings up for sale and acreage was also slightly less with 41,000 acres brought to market," the report added.
Apart from the midlands and southwest, prices rose all over the country.
Values rose by as much as a fifth in the northwest last year, while the average price topped €8,500 per acre.
Values for Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow continued to climb, adding 14.2pc in the year, while the average price paid rose to €14,427 from €12,636 a year earlier.
Elsewhere, in the south east land prices jumped 14.9pc to €11,959, while holdings of all sizes increased as well.
The average price paid for land in the Midlands in 2013 decreased to €9,202 per acre, when compared to the 2012 average price of €10,190. The number of transactions was also down.
In the Southwest region, the average price was €9,204 per acre in 2013, well down when compared to the €11,588 per acre paid in 2012.
There was little change in values for the Northeast region.