30pc increase in the volume of farmland sold at auction
The land market in Ireland experienced a bumper year in 2022, driven by a combination of the dairy boom, keen non-farming interest in land and strong performances in other farming sectors.
The year saw a 30pc increase in the volume of farmland sold at auction, with a 48pc increase in the amount of money generated and a 13.5pc rise in the average per-acre price.
A survey of 130 successful land auctions held in 2022 carried out by the Farming Independent shows the amount of land sold by auction and the money generated is up substantially on 2021 figures.
A total of 7,183ac of land was sold, producing almost €108m in sales. This marks a 30pc increase in the acreage disposed of under the hammer, while the money generated went up by 48pc on the previous year.
At €15,023/ac, the average price paid for land at auction increased by 13.5pc on 2021.
The overall land market picture for 2022 is reflected in the regions, with most of the indicators on an upward trajectory.
The South Leinster region led the way with an increase of 57.7pc in the amount of land sold and a rise of 65pc in the money generated by sales. There was only a marginal increase in the per-acre price but it remains the region with the most expensive land in the country at €16,832/ac.
In total, 2,662ac of land was sold in the sunny southeast generating more than €44.8m, a remarkable result given there was no change, year-on-year, in the number of successful land auctions recorded.
Munster had a good year on all fronts with the number of acres sold going up by 55pc while the money generated increased by a staggering 113pc.
The average per-acre price rose 37pc to €16,192/ac, and the number of auctions held went up by over 70pc and the most expensive piece of farmland sold at auction in the country was in the province.
The c57ac farm at Ballineen, West Cork came with generous aggregate deposits and made €44,627/ac under the hammer of John Hodnett.
Over 1,323ac of land were sold at auction in Munster, generating €21.4m
North Leinster is home to the most expensive farm sold at auction in the country, Lumville Stud on 218ac at Edenderry in Co Offaly, which made €6.8m when sold by Coonans.
The region had a steady year and while there was a slight decline in the amount of land sold, the money generated by sales increased by 15pc.
The average per-acre price, at €14,729/ac, was up 17pc.
The region also hosted the highest number of auctions, selling 2,504ac of land and generating €36.9m in revenue over 47 sales.
Connacht/Ulster saw a significant increase in the number of public auctions, and an increase of 61pc on the amount of land sold.
However, at €6,914 the average per-acre price is less than half of the other regions. The amount of money generated by auction sales increased by 32pc to €4.8m.
It is important to note that private treaty is the preferred method of sale for land transactions in the west where there is a lively market in the sale of smaller parcels.
*This survey is based on 130 land or farm auctions that took place throughout the country in 2022, the results of which were published in national papers.
In total, the auctions quoted in the survey represent the sale of 7,183ac of land, which made a total of €107,923,120.
The findings are based on successful auctions where the sale price was achieved in the public arena.
The survey is concerned only with land that sold. In auctions where a single property was offered for sale in lots, only those lots selling under the hammer on the day are included.
For the purposes of the survey the country is divided into four regions. Connaught/Ulster comprises the five counties of Connaught and the three counties of Ulster in the Republic.
North Leinster includes Dublin, Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford and Offaly, while South Leinster includes Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow and Wexford. Munster is made up of the six counties of the province.