Cash buyers rule in chase for prime properties
South Leinster is home to the most valuable land in the country according to our survey. The region includes the counties of Kildare, Laois, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wicklow and Wexford. In 2015 the 79 successful auctions held there disposed of 3,905ac of land to bring in €47.186m.
The amount of land sold represents a 44.4pc increase on the amount sold at auction in 2014, while the amount of money generated represents an increase of 56.55pc on the amount generated in 2014. The region had the highest average per acre price for land at €12,083/ac, marking a 8.4pc rise in the price from last year.
The most expensive farm sold at auction in the country was handled by Willie Coonan of REA Coonans. Ravensdale, a 223ac property near Maynooth in Co Kildare is centred around a two-storey over-basement mansion built in 1765 by the Duke of Leinster as a Dower house to the nearby Carton Estate.
It sold at auction for €4.75m or €21,300/ac making it the most expensive farm sold at auction in Ireland in 2015. The property was bought by Coolmore Stud, reflecting the trend of major equestrian players buying up many larger rural properties.
Among the other headline farms was a 316.6ac residential tillage farm at Skeagh, Aghaboe and at Ballygeehin, Ballacolla in Co Laois.
The place sold in two lots under the gavel of Robert Ganly for a combined price of €3.145m. The 227.3ac with the house and yards at Ballygeehin was bought by Kilkenny dairy farmers while the 91.3ac near Aghaboe was bought by a local farmer. Another €3m property sold under the hammer was disposed of by John Dawson of Tullow. Located at Gowran in Kilkenny the 177.7ac tillage farm was bought by its current tenant for €3.025m or €17,023/ac, a remarkable per acre price for a holding of that size.
Another outstanding property to be sold in the region was a 382ac drystock residential farm at Clonkeen near Carbury in Co Kildare. It made €2.65m under the direction of Raymond Potterton. Serviced by top class cattle accommodation and handling facilities the place was bought by the Comer brothers who made their early money running a plastering business and who are now major property tycoons and intend to use Clonkeen for equestrian purposes.In a clear indication that other interests are making their way back into the land market, Wexford developers and hoteliers Thomas and Patrick Redmond along with a local businessman bought a 46.25ac fragmented farm located at Millands and Ramstown, Gorey.
When the gavel fell at the end of the auction the various lots netted a total of €1.905m or €41,189/ac. Indeed in the course of the auction one lot extending to 13.6ac was bought by the Redmond brothers for €1.05m or €77,205/ac, arguably one of the highest prices paid per acre last year.