Farm Ireland

Saturday 18 November 2017

Land sales at auction in South Leinster take 35pc dive

Haggard House on 282ac in Carbury, Co Kildare sold for €2.15m, making it the biggest auction sale in South Leinster in 2016
Haggard House on 282ac in Carbury, Co Kildare sold for €2.15m, making it the biggest auction sale in South Leinster in 2016
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

South Leinster land is traditionally the most valuable in the country and this year's survey reveals nothing different.

At €11,528/ac the average price beats its nearest rival, Munster, by 17pc, and is 13pc ahead of the national average. However, the figure for 2016 represents a decline of 4.6pc on the per acre figure of 2015.

Last year saw 60 successful auctions in the region compared to 79 the previous year, with 2,551ac changing hands under the gavel bringing in a total of €28,822,250.

This marks a decline of 35pc in the number of acres sold and a sharp drop of 40pc in the amount of money generated from public auction sales.

Among the headline sales in the region Haggard House on 282ac at Carbury in Co Kildare was not only the biggest farm sold under the hammer in South Leinster but was also the biggest farm sold at public auction in Leinster this year.

The farm, a mix of grazing, tillage and forestry, was sold in June by Paddy Jordan for €2.15m.

The property included a two storey over basement period house built in 1824 and occupied by the current family since 1956.

The land is all in one large block with extensive road frontage and several access points. A portion of 60ac is in tillage, 170ac in grass, 37ac in forestry and 19ac that may be suitable for planting.

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The highest price for non-residential land in the region was paid in Kildare when a solicitor acting in trust turned up at an auction conducted by REA Coonans and bought a 16ac parcel of grazing ground with an equestrian yard.

The legal eagle paid €370,000 or €23,125/ac for the property.

Other notable sales in the region included a non- residential holding of 112ac at Athgarvan in Kildare that made €1.56m under the hammer of Willie Coonan in a sale he jointly handled with Goff's Country. Located in the heart of horsey country, the farm attracted a lot of bloodstock interest.

In June, an 82ac non-residential tillage farm at Camolin in Wexford was auctioned by David Quinn and netted a handsome €16,585/ac when it was bought by a local farmer for €1.36m.

Towards the end of the year, a 92ac residential farm at The Still, Enniscorthy in Wexford made €1.24m or €13,500/ac when it was sold by Denis Howell of Warren Estates.

Other farms to break the €1m mark included a 90ac tillage holding at Stoneyford in Kilkenny that changed hands for €1.17m in a sale conducted by local auctioneer Ed Donohoe. Shee and Hawe handled the €1.045m sale of a 138ac grazing and forestry farm at Hugginstown in Co Kilkenny

Back in Co Kildare a 53ac non-residential unit at Carnalway, Kilcullen made a strong €18,800/ac when it sold for €1m under the gavel of Pat O'Hagan of Savills.

Land letting

The property is surrounded by some of the more salubrious stud farms in the country and was always bound to make good money.

Commenting on the data, Castlecomer auctioneer Joe Coogan said the decline in the volume of land coming on the market is particularly noticeable.

"The new land letting regime with the tax-breaks is having an impact on the amount of land coming on the market," he admitted.

"I was ready to go to market by auction with two farms together totalling 500ac this year but the owners both opted for long-term letting," he said.

Wexford based Alan Kinsella of Kinsella Estates said "there isn't much land coming up as a lot of people have land tied up in long-term leases and have planned ahead."

Eamon O'Flaherty of Maynooth based Property Partners Brady said would-be vendors were not going to the market because of the poor state of farming and the whole uncertainty caused by Brexit vote.

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