Farm Ireland

Friday 27 April 2018

See the average price of land in the most expensive region in Ireland

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

South Leinster continues to be home to the most expensive land in the country with an average of €12,560/ac being paid for farmland at auction.

Like most other regions of the country it saw a decline in the amount of land sold in the auction room.

The first six months of last year saw a decline of 54pc in the amount of land being sold in the region and while there has been no recovery in volume, there is certainly a recovery in price with a 17pc increase in the per acre price and an 18.5pc increase in the total spend generated under the gavel.

All in all there were 923.4ac sold at auction in the first half of the year generating an income of €11.6m compared to €9.7m for 944ac in early 2016.

The most expensive piece of land sold in the country so far this year was sold in Wexford where a 10.44 parcel of tillage land at Ramstown, Gorey made €620,000 or almost €60,000/ac.

This piece of ground was sold by Warren Estates as strictly agricultural land without zoning but is within walking distance of the Amber Springs Hotel and has good frontage on the Ballycanew/Gorey road.

The largest amount of money generated at a transaction resulted from the sale of a 205ac grass farm located at Clonaghlis, Straffan not far from the famous K Club. It made €3m or €14,500 under the gavel of Paddy Jordan.

While it is rare to see a farm of this size generate a per acre price exceeding €10,000/ac, the location of this farm undoubtedly adds to its value.

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The second largest farm sold in the region was also sold by Mr Jordan, a 107ac grass farm with equestrian potential at Mullaboden, Ballymore Eustace in Co Kildare. This sold for €1.2m or €11,214/ac.

Auctioneer David Quinn got €25,000/ac for a 5ac piece at Grange, Rathnure in Wexford, while Coonans of Maynooth saw €24,400/ac paid for a 16.5ac piece of ground at Millicent in Co Kildare.

Tillage crisis

The tillage crisis is undoubtedly affecting land prices in this region and Castlecomer auctioneer Joe Coogan believes it will change the nature of land in the tillage areas of Laois, Kilkenny and maybe into the northern borders of Carlow,

"Given the huge difficulties in tillage for the past few years I can see a lot of tillage land in these counties reverting to grass and turning to dairying."

John Dawson agrees that borderland tillage areas might revert to grass and dairy, but he believes the heartland of tillage in Carlow, Wexford and South Wicklow will stay with the plough.

"It's what they know, it's what they're good at," he says, "they could supply the grain needs of the whole country." He makes the observation that dairying is a tough life,

"It takes a lot of capital to be set up, it takes a lot of hard work and you need to be young," he said.

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