What drove a 30% increase in land prices in this region?
North Leinster saw a small decline in auction land sales from last year with 6pc less lands selling in the auction room.
However the region saw a 30pc increase in the average price of an acre of ground and while the volume of sales dropped, the amount of money generated increased by a substantial 35pc.
Land is making €11,747/ac compared to an average of €8,169 last year.
In the first six months of 2017 a total of 1,084ac of ground changed hands at auction generating €12.7m compared to €9.4m in the same period last year.
One of the highest prices for land in the country was paid in this region when Eamonn O'Flaherty sold a 10ac farm of scenic but mountainy ground at Glenasmole in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. The parcel which included an old stone house made €510,000 or €51,000/ac.
The largest farm sold in the region was the 157ac Berrillstown farm near Dunshaughlin in Co Meath. This tillage and grass farm made €2.4m or €15,300/ac under the hammer of Raymond Potterton.
A 133ac farm near Killeigh in Co Offaly was the next biggest sale where the farm netted €1.4m making €10,800/ac under the hammer of Gordon Cobbe of GVM Tullamore.
One of the surprising features of the current market is the strong per acre price being paid even for bigger holdings. Stephen Barry of Raymond Pottertons attributes this to the fact that there are strong buyers specifically for these types of farms who want to buy them in their entirety and are willing to pay to keep the smaller buyer out.
Gordon Cobbe of GVM says the market is buoyant and he is continuing to see strong prices for ground.
"There is great confidence around milk and the forecasts are good and in our mart there has been a good trade in cattle and sheep all year, nothing went home unsold and that is a good sign," he said.
Padraic Murtagh of James L Murtagh believes that while there might be a decline in the amount of land sold at auction there is a strong volume of land for sale in Westmeath and Meath: "There are great opportunities in the land market in the area," he said, "for people who want to consolidate."
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