'Land prices are on the floor in Connacht - only forestry securing the foundations'
Despite Connacht-Ulster seeing the most lucrative farm sale of the year at public auction with the sale of a beautiful 135ac farm at Renville near Oranmore prices are generally under pressure.
The day I walked the place I thought to myself that a Galway man or woman will buy this, it's a piece of the county anyone would love to own.
And so it came to pass, at auction a few days later it was bought by Pat McDonagh, founder of the Supermac's fast food chain and quintessential Galwayman. He paid €3.2m for the property or €23,700/ac, a substantial per acre price for a farm of this size.
This sale has somewhat skewed the results from Connacht and Ulster, lifting the per acre average price by 25pc compared to last year.
While the decline of 28pc in the volume of land sold at auction in the region mirrored the rest of the country, the amount spent at auction was down a mere 3.5pc.
An auctioneer in the region who wished to remain anonymous maintained that land prices in the west were generally far below our survey results and added that auction room prices did not reflect the real prices being paid in most transactions.
"Land prices are on the floor here," he said, "there are very few people locally with the money or the interest to buy land in the west."