'Crazy' entitlements' bidding creating farm property bubble
Frenzied bidding that is driving up the price of Single Farm Payment entitlements to four times their value has led to calls for regulation and controls in the sector.
With the deadline for trading looming this Thursday, demand in some parts of the country has outstripped supply by a factor of 50:1 in a market auctioneers have described as "crazy".
The hike in trading activity has also revealed huge anomalies in entitlement values around the country.
Michael Guiry, of Farm Entitlements in Waterford, traded 8.5 entitlements from Leitrim that had a face value of a whopping €4,740.29/ha. These were sold in two lots to buyers from Clare and Tipperary for four times their value, or €19,000/ha.
Mr Guiry has sold in excess of 4,000 units this year, a 60pc rise on 2013.
"The website crashed several times in recent days because of the volume of traffic. The demand has been huge – we have nothing left," he said.
The vast bulk of entitlements worth more than €300/ha are trading at 2.3 to 2.5 times value. Lower values are being sold at back to double their face value.
John McGee, HMG Agri Entitlements, Kells, described the market as "mayhem" since last January.