The sale of larger farms continues to be a stand-out feature of this year’s farm sales.
While many of these holdings have come to the market in the east and south, the west is also seeing its share of big properties find their way on to the auctioneers’ books.
In recent weeks Roscommon auctioneer John Earley has seen a flurry of sales on the private treaty market and a number of substantial farms appear on the market.
“I have been known to give out about the banks and their reluctance to lend to the farming sector, but something somewhere has happened in the last month or so and land sales around here have really picked up,” he said
Mr Earley has three large farms for sale by private treaty, two of them in the strong farming area that surrounds Roscommon town.
The largest holding is a 168ac non-residential farm at Rathconnor, Four Mile House. The holding comes with a huge array of sheds and farming facilities, €25,000 in entitlements and greening payments and is guided at €2m.
According to Mr Earley it would cost in the region of €500,000 to build the sheds were any new owner to undertake the venture.
“The place was bought a number of years ago by a man from overseas who invested heavily in it. There isn’t an inch of waste on the land and the sheds are extraordinary,” he said.
“It was sold again and bought by the current owner who has business interests all over the country and has decided to concentrate on those.” Located just off the N61 Tulsk road 6km from Roscommon Town, the holding has extensive frontage on to a local road.
The farm is laid out in up to 13 large fields with the yard at the centre. The ground is all in grass and in top condition, having been well cared for, with all the divisions watered and fenced to a high standard.
It is described by Mr Earley as “the best of dual purpose limestone land”.
The extensive yard has 28 bays of slatted units with lie-backs in three barns, 20 bays of drystock sheds in two large barns, and a large 12-bay general storage shed.
A variety of storage spaces include a five-column hay barn, a grain bin, two silage slabs and an extensive concreted area.
All the sheds are of recent vintage and built to high spec. While there is no residence on the property there is plenty of space for a residence subject to planning permission.
Mr Earley is selling the holding by private treaty and expects interest from all sectors and all parts of the country.
Another large farm on Mr Earley’s books is a 150ac non-residential holding at Grange, Fourmilehouse, 13km from Roscommon. It comes with a guide price of €850,000 or just over €5,600/ac.
The property is all in one block and divided into 18 divisions, with decent road frontage on to a country road.
A lower part of the land fronts on to a small lake and while the ground is softer in nature it provides good summer grazing.
The majority of the land, extending to 100ac or so, is top-quality grazing ground that has been reseeded and fenced in recent years. In fact, extensive improvement works were undertaken on the farm including servicing all the fields and paddocks with water drinkers and building a farm roadway through the holding.
The yard includes a four-column, straw-bedded calving shed with a cattle crush and pen.
Away from the main yard is a three-column storage barn with lean-tos, a cattle crush and pen.
Mr Earley says the land is renowned for its fattening and finishing qualities. With planning permission, it could become a fine residential holding.
On a more modest scale, Mr Earley is dealing with the sale of a 72ac non-residential holding, also with excellent sheds, at Gardenstown, Ballyleague.
Located on the Roscommon side of the Shannon where the river divides Longford’s Lanesboro from Roscommon’s Ballyleague the holding is for sale by private treaty with a guide price of €650,000.
“This is an excellent farm without an inch of waste and a superb range of modern sheds,” Mr Earley said. The property is slightly undulating and has great views over Lough Ree.
Located 15km from Roscommon and 3km from Lanesboro, the farm is divided into four large divisions and paddocked. Currently in grass, the land is described by the auctioneer as “good dual-purpose ground”.