Confidence in property is in interests of all
Confidence in the property market is not confined to the Dublin residential sector; that is clear from the Farming Independent land price survey.
Although the price increases recorded this year are relatively modest, there are definite signs of greater buoyancy in the market and also of outside investors showing renewed interest in the purchase of land.
The return of investors is obviously a double-edged sword for farmers. Nobody wants a return to the madness of the boom years, but a healthy market where land owners are confident of receiving a fair price for their property has to be in the interests of all.
A stagnant market where prices are on the floor but few farms are coming up for sale is of no use to anybody.
Limerick auctioneer Tom Crosse makes the point that many investors who are in a position to buy land with hard cash are looking at the possibility of letting the land in long-term leases so as to minimise their tax exposure.
This has obvious benefits in terms of land availability for those farmers who are looking to expand over the next five years and it is a development that has to be welcomed.
It is also interesting to hear that emigrants are becoming an increasingly important force in the land and rural housing market in many parts of the country.
This was always bound to happen. While many of those who have been forced to leave Ireland over the last six years are unlikely to return, others are determined to come back with the price of a house or small holding saved.