The last few weeks of 2016 saw somewhat of a flurry of sales in the auction rooms with good prices achieved, writes Jim O'Brien.
In the southeast, Alan Kinsella of Kinsella Estates Gorey and Carnew sold a 48ac non-residential farm at Ballybuckley, Bree near Enniscorthy in Co Wexford for €662,000 or €13,600/ac.
Located 800m from the village of Bree, the land is about 5km from Enniscorthy and across the road from the well-known Wilton House.
Currently in stubble, the holding is made up of two distinct lots consisting of a 16.15ac parcel with about 300m of road frontage and a 32.33ac parcel with laneway access.
The stubble ground is described by Mr Kinsella as good quality, south-facing land with access from two roads.
At auction, two rounds of bidding saw the amount on offer for the two lots reach a total of €465,000.
The 16.15ac piece opened at €160,000 and with two bidders in the chase, it was making €220,000. The 32.3ac parcel opened at €200,000 and with two bidders in action, it held at €245,000.
Bidding then concentrated on the entire in a sale driven by the two customers who had bid on lot two in the first round. When the amount on offer reached €580,000, Mr Kinsella consulted with the vendor and the property was put on the market at that price.
However, this was far from the end of the story and a further series of bids from three active customers saw the price break the €600,000 mark.
But still the hands kept rising until the hammer fell at €662,000 and a local farmer bought the place for €13,600/ac.
Staying in Wexford, Frank McGuinness and Michael O'Leary of Sherry FitzGerald O'Leary Kinsella sold a 92ac farm at Fairfield, The Still, Enniscorthy for €1.24m or €13,500/ac.
The holding, which includes a derelict house, has been idle for more than 10 years and will take some works to clear overgrowth and vegetation and bring it back to full farming production.
Auctioneer Frank McGuinness said that although the land is overgrown, it is fundamentally very good productive ground. The place has plenty of road frontage divided as it is by the Enniscorthy to Caim road.
Prior to auction, the property was guided at between €750,000 to €900,000 but on the day it exceeded all expectations.
Frank McGuinness was in charge of the gavel and opened proceedings with a 19ac lot across the road from the main farm. This opened at €150,000 and, with two customers in contention, was bid to €280,000.
The main lot - consisting of 73ac with the derelict house - attracted three interested parties and was bid to a hefty €820,000.
This gave a combined €1.1m for the entire, well ahead of the guide.
Mr McGuinness put the entire to the floor at €1.1m and with two bidders in action it quickly rose to €1.2m.
At this point, a new bidder entered the fray.
With four customers in action, the price rose quickly to €1.24m at which point the hammer fell and the place was bought by a solicitor based in Enniscorthy - believed to be acting for two clients.
Mr McGuinness said that while he was surprised at the price paid, the extension of the M11 to by-pass Enniscorthy and improvements to the New Ross road resulted in a lot of CPO land purchase in the area, hence farmers in the area have spending power.
Alan Kinsella agreed.
"The farmers who sold land for these developments have to spend it on land to avoid paying tax on it so there is more money for land in this vicinity at the moment," he said.