Tillage land holding value at an average of €11,500/ac
The year has been relatively good for land sales according to the latest report from Sherry FitzGerald Research. Figures for the first nine months of the year put the average price of land at €9,550/ac marking an overall increase of 0.8pc in the nine months to September.
According to the report there are regional variations. The south-west saw a 2pc increase in land prices leading to an average of €10,500/ac, while the midlands saw an increase of just 0.7pc giving a per acre price of €8,250.
There was bad news for western landowners with prices in those regions down by 0.8pc delivering a per acre price of €6,500/ac.
Surprisingly, given the poor state of the tillage sector, arable land remains the most expensive ground making an average of €11,500/ac while prime grassland made €10,700/ac with marginal grassland making €6,500/ac.
The report regards the recovery in milk prices as a key driver in the improvement in land prices, with land increasing in price in the south, mid-west and the border regions. Land prices declined in the non-dairy areas of the mid-east, south-east and west.
Tony Mac Inerney of Sherry FitzGerald Hyland describes activity in the midlands land market in the third quarter of 2017 as 'brisk', with ground in Laois making €10,000 to €13,000/ac, while around Portlaoise it can make up to €16,500/ac.
Planting land or marginal land is making €4,500/ac according to the Portlaoise based auctioneer.
Roseanne De Vere Hunt, head of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, Farms and Estates describes the slight increase in land prices as positive especially in the light of the reduction in prices seen in 2016,
"The improvement is mainly driven by the increase in milk prices and some optimism in the national economy.
However, farmers remain cautious about expanding due to the potential effects of Brexit and the CAP reform in 2020," she said.
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