Northern farmers buying up land in Republic due to Brexit
Small parcels of land in demand from buyers chasing herd numbers in the Republic
NORTHERN farmers are beginning to buy small parcels of land south of the border as insurance against the impact of a possible hard Brexit.
While the number of sales is modest, a number of auctioneers say there is a distinct pattern emerging in some parts of the country.
Dundalk auctioneer Raymond Fee says he has enquiries from northern buyers buying smaller holdings of 40ac to 50ac south of the border to get a foothold in the Republic.
“I have seen northern farmers buying more properties of this size at this side of the border, and I’m presuming it’s with a view to accessing the EU grants,” he said.
Gerry Coffey of Williamstown in Co Galway has also had northern buyers buying small parcels of ground in his area with a view to getting a herd number in the south, staying in the EU payments system and establishing a base for beef exports.
However, Kells-based auctioneer Robert Nixon is witnessing a distinct absence of what he calls ‘Northmen’ from the farmland market.
“There is no doubt but they are keeping a low profile. The DUP’s involvement in the government might change things. Some I have been talking to are hoping the DUP’s support for the Tories will be good for farmers and might lead to a soft Brexit and a soft border,” he said.
“Overall, the key issue is not the notion of Brexit itself but the drop in the buying power of sterling and the uncertainty.”