Ireland has the fourth highest land price and fith highest land rental price in the EU, according to data released by the European Commission last week.
At just over €25,000/ha in 2020 land prices here came in behind the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Italy.
The average price of purchasing one hectare of arable land was most expensive in the Netherlands (an average of €69,632). Indeed, the price of arable land in every region of the Netherlands was above all other available national averages in the EU.
However, among the EU regions for which data are available, the most expensive prices for arable land were in the Canarias region of Spain (an average €120,477 per hectare in 2020).
Arable land was cheapest in Croatia, with a hectare costing an average €3,440 in 2020. At the regional level, a hectare of arable land cost least in the Övre Norrland region of Sweden (an average €1,822 in 2020).
From the data available, the strongest purchase price growth between 2011 and 2020 for a hectare of arable land was in Romania and Czechia (both over a five-fold increase).
Other sharp rises were recorded for Estonia and Lithuania (both about a three-and-a-half-fold increase, albeit remaining among the lowest national averages in the EU), and Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland (both more than doubling). Prices rose in most other Member States too, albeit at much lower rates.
At €322/ha in 2020, Irish grassland rental prices have increased by almost 25pc in the last four years and are now fifth highest in the EU.
Mirroring the variation in arable land prices, annual rental prices of agricultural land (arable or permanent grassland) also vary starkly between countries and regions within countries.
Renting arable land or permanent grassland was most expensive in Italy (an average €837/ha per year), closely followed by the Netherlands (an average €819). The highest regional average for renting one hectare of arable land or permanent grassland in 2020 was in Fruili-Venezia Giulia (€1,714), where it was slight more than twice the national average.
Renting agricultural land in 2020 was cheapest on average in Slovakia (€57/ha), although the cheapest regions in the EU were Mellersta Norrland and Övre Norrland in Sweden (both €34/ha in 2020).