Buying land is in our blood but more is at play in market surge
Historically, Irish people have had an interesting relationship with land.
The latest survey of land sold by public auction in the State shows a whopping 32pc increase in the price paid per acre of land in the first six months of 2017.
The average price paid nationally in the period was €11,123 per acre – but why has the price of land risen and who is buying?
The first reason for the increase is supply and demand – as the quantity of land offered for sale continues to fall.
There was a 48pc decrease in the number of acres sold by auction in the first six months of 2017 when compared to 2015.
In Ireland, an acre of land comes for sale once in every 400 years, therefore care is needed when analysing land sale surveys as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities are grabbed by those with deep pockets, or those years in waiting, which can significantly increase or decrease average prices.
The boom in dairy farming since the removal of milk quotas, and the significant recovery in milk prices this year, has certainly made the dairy farmer more competitive in the market.
However, a lot of their cash is being invested in facilities such as new milking parlours, livestock housing and pollution control – therefore their ability to buy land is often overstated.