Regional disparity as Leinster, Connacht and Ulster land prices all take hit

Lay of the land
Lay of the land

The SCSI/Teagasc Land Market Review paints a picture of regional disparities in land prices.

Munster is the darling of the bunch where the overall average price per acre is €9,900. The price paid for holdings of 50ac to 100ac increased by 18pc, giving an average price per acre in this category of €10,719, while the price of a similar-sized holding without a residence increased by 14pc to €10,000/ac.

The most expensive land in the southern province was to be found in plots of less than 50ac and these averaged €11,616/ac.

In Leinster the average price came in at €9,800/ac, with the cheapest per acre price of €9,000 paid for non-residential holdings of 100ac or more.

The dearest type of property is the plot of less than 50ac, and this is averaging out at €12,173/ac - and this in fact is the dearest type of farming property in the country.

Connacht/Ulster is in a league of its own where the average price paid for land in 2017 is €7-8,500/ac.

The cheapest land to be bought in the region is found in non-residential parcels of more than 100ac while the dearest land comes in non-residential plots of less than 50ac.

Forestry land and the purchase of land for planting is having a profound impact on the market in the west.

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Sligo auctioneer John Murphy comments on this in the course of the report when he says: "Beef farmers cannot compete with values offered by commercial forestry companies with tax breaks and grants available to them, particularly for moderate-to-low quality beef land."

Commenting on the types of holdings that are selling, Pat O'Hagan of Savills says small farms move well with interest coming from local farmers, while the larger farms attract outside buyers. "It is the medium-sized land holdings of between 50ac and 100ac that tend to be more difficult to sell or lease - they can be too large for local farmers and not large enough for outside operators," he said.


Auctioneers have seen a distinct increase in the amount of land coming on the leasing market since the new tax breaks made long-term leasing more attractive for landholders. According to Mullingar auctioneer Dillon Murtagh: "[Leasing] allows the property to stay within the family and on their bank balance.

"It provides a flexible and tax-free alternative to selling."

The prices paid for leased land varied around the country in 2017 with the dearest prices paid for potato ground in Leinster where it made an average of €426/ac.

Root crop ground made €299/ac, cereal ground €220/ac, grazing land made €182/ac and grazing land with meadowing and fodder possibilities made €194/ac.

In Munster, the highest price was also paid for potato land at €295/ac, while cereal crop ground made €263/ac with root crop land going for €195/ac, grazing ground with fodder potential made €191/ac and simple grazing ground made €174/ac.

In Connacht/Ulster, potato ground was also the dearest with an average of €327/ac, while root crop land made €180/ac, cereal ground made €170/ac with grazing/fodder ground making an average of €124/ac and pure grazing making €122/ac.

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