Auction prices hit a high of €22,000 per acre in South Leinster

This traditional farmhouse standing on 79ac in Rathnure, Co Wexford sold for €1.5m in April
This traditional farmhouse standing on 79ac in Rathnure, Co Wexford sold for €1.5m in April
Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

Sales in South Leinster remained steady in the first six months of the year and while the region saw some declines in figures there is substantially little difference in its performance in the land sales' stakes from 2018.

Indicating that fewer but larger holdings are coming to the market, the number of successful auctions taking place in the early part of the year almost halved to 12 compared to 21 for the same period last year. However, the amount of land changing hands showed a modest decline from 969.3ac sold in early 2018 to 891ac sold in early 2019.

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Meanwhile the average size of holding sold went up by 40pc with the average size sold standing at 74ac this year compared to 46ac for the same period in 2018.

The amount of money generated from these sales amounted to €12.661m compared to €14.579m last year, a decline of over 13pc while the per-acre price paid for ground went down by less than €1,000/ac from €15,041 is spring and early summer 2018 to €14,209/ac this year.

The largest farm of the year to date was sold in South Leinster when Prumplestown House in Co Kildare but near Carlow sold under the hammer of John Dawson and joint sellers Colliers.

The Georgian house built as a hunting lodge by the Dukes of Leinster along with extensive yards and other residential accommodation sold in a variety of lots making a total of €4.87m or €16,300/ac. Some of the lots made very strong money with one 72ac tillage field making €18,055/ac.

In terms of size the next most substantial holding sold was a 212ac residential farm at Kilcotty on Wexford. Under the hammer of Frank McGuinness of Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella the grazing and tillage farm made €2.78m or €13,100/ac.

The highest per-acre price was paid when David Quinn sold an 18ac parcel of ground at Inch in Co Wexford for €400,000 or €22,222/ac.

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Paddy Jordan saw two properties make strong money under his direction when an 18ac residential holding at Blacktrench in Kildare made €370,000 or €20,000/ac and a 79ac residential farm at Rathnure in Co Wexford made €1.5m or almost €17,000/ac.

Coonans of Maynooth got a strong €17,700/ac or €550,000 for a 31ac non residential holding on the edge of Clane in Co Kildare and staying in Kildare the same auctioneer saw a 20ac parcel of ground at Carbury on the border with Offaly make €272,000 or €13,600/ac.

Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella took €420,000 or €15,600 for a 91ac residential grass and tillage farm at Blackwater near Enniscorthy while David Quinn brought the hammer down at €215,000 or €15,357/ac on a 14ac parcel at Kiltegan in Co Wicklow

O'Neill and Flanagan saw €225,000 or €13,500/ac paid for 17ac of land at Woodenbridge in Co Wicklow while Kilkenny auctioneer Pat Gannon sold a 72ac farm at Thomastown for €860,000 or €11,900/ac. In Co Laois Matt Dunne saw a 21ac farm at Rosenallis make €199,000 or €9,476/ac.

Frank McGuinness of Wexford auctioneers Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella says that not much land is moving in the south east but agrees that whatever is selling is selling well. "A lot of what we sold made prices beyond our expectations," he said.


Brexit is certainly a concern and while the Wexford auctioneer says that, as of now, not a lot of land appears to be coming for sale, he expects once the harvest is over the land market will take off again.

Willie Coonan of Coonans Maynooth agrees, "very often the back end of the year is stronger than the earlier part," he said

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