Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 23 September 2018

Land prices are soaring, with one auctioneer declaring that they have 'gone crazy'

A 101ac residential farm on the outskirts of Cork city sold for €5.8m or €58,000/ac at auction.
A 101ac residential farm on the outskirts of Cork city sold for €5.8m or €58,000/ac at auction.

Jim O’Brien

Land prices are soaring, auction rooms have never been busier as they record brisk business during and immediately after auction, with consistently strong prices being paid in all regions.

In the last week, out of 10 auctions, five farms sold in full under the hammer, while three sold immediately after auction.

One was withdrawn in its entirety and one sold in part. A total of 476 acres changed hands, realising in the region of €6.7m, giving an average price of €14,000/ac.

A huge price was paid in the auction room for a 91.6ac parcel of ground near Cahir in Co Tipperary. It made €2.125m or €23,000/ac. The tillage land comes with 1km of road frontage on the outskirts of Cahir.

Slyguff Lodge, a 65ac residential farm with a wide range of farm buildings near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow made €1.52m at auction last week, writes Jim O’Brien.
Slyguff Lodge, a 65ac residential farm with a wide range of farm buildings near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow made €1.52m at auction last week, writes Jim O’Brien.

Sold by Dougan Fitzgerald and Cashel Marts, it opened at €1m and attracted three customers before the hammer fell at €2.125m when the place was bought by a solicitor acting in trust.

Alison de Vere Hunt of Cashel Marts says the land market is ‘gone crazy’.

“I think the €10,000/ac price of last year is €15,000/ac this year,” she said. “People seem to be mad for land. Perhaps all the money from the last boom isn’t yet gone but the banks are giving out money for smaller parcels.”

Midlands auctioneer Matt Dunne sold a 91ac farm for €1.115m or €12,250/ac to a local business family. At the same auction he sold an 8.8ac field at Ballydavis, The Heath near Portlaoise for €123,000 or almost €14,500/ac.

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Dairy sector

Mr Dunne believes that the dairy sector is bullish and this is impacting on the entire land market: dairy farmers are building good enterprises and once they have the building blocks laid all they need is more land, and they are willing to pay for it.

Hope, value and hedge funds were in evidence recently when two solicitors bought two parcels of land adjoining the industrial parklands of Naas in Co Kildare. A 58ac portion made over €15,000/ac while a 48.75ac portion made a staggering €1.175m or €24,000/ac.
Hope, value and hedge funds were in evidence recently when two solicitors bought two parcels of land adjoining the industrial parklands of Naas in Co Kildare. A 58ac portion made over €15,000/ac while a 48.75ac portion made a staggering €1.175m or €24,000/ac.

“Farmers are always willing to pay for good land,” he said.

At Ardkeen near Templemore in Co Tipperary, Stephen Barry of Raymond Potterton sold a 20ac residential farm to a man acting for an overseas buyer for €465,000.

The same auctioneer sold an 11ac piece of residential ground near Kells for €350,000. In this case the main customers were Irish living overseas or Irish people who have just returned from overseas.

Even where properties were withdrawn in the last week they sold soon afterwards.

In Co Waterford, Harty auctioneers sold a 65ac holding after auction for a figure believed to be in excess of €680,000, making over €10,000/ac.

In Roscommon, Dillon Murtagh sold a 48ac residential hold after auction for around its guide of €350,000 and a 75ac residential dairy farm at Rathconrath, Co Westmeath after auction for a figure in the region of €700,000.

Dundalk auctioneer Raymond Fee agrees that the prices have certainly gone up.

“I have a 9ac piece outside Castleblayney at the moment with €14,000/ac on it and a 40ac farm coming in at €350,000.

“I think the milk prices are certainly having an effect as well as the supports for younger farmers under the CAP to get into land. There’s a lot coming together to create this,” he said.

 

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