Tipperary land bucks the trend in quiet Munster market
The land market in Munster has been quiet in 2017. Gone are the heady days when the prospect of a quota-free milk regime sent dairy farmers rushing to their bank managers.
The number of acres sold at auction in the province in early 2016 shrank by 45pc and it went down by another 27pc this spring.
However, the prices paid for land sold under the hammer have increased by 25pc with an acre of ground now averaging €10,304 compared to €7,670 a year ago.
The increased value of land can be seen in the contrast between price and volume; while the volume of land sold at auction in Munster went down by 27pc the amount of money generated by these sales went down a mere 1.6pc.
The largest transaction in the province involved a 217ac farm with a period house at Fortwilliam, Borrisoleigh that sold under the hammer of Vincent Ryan for €2.2m. The sale represented a price of €10,000/ac.
In further evidence of the return of the investor/developer to the farmland market the highest per acre price paid was given for land with outline planning permission on the outskirts of Ennis in Co Clare.
In an auction conducted by Sherry FitzGerald McMahon, €390,000 or €22,608/ac was paid for the land at Shanaway Road, Ennis with a local businessman winning the day. In the Kingdom a 51.8ac farm at Farranfore made €12,000/ac in an auction conducted by Tom Spillane.
Tom Crosse of GVM Limerick is not surprised at the results of the survey in terms of land volumes and prices saying there are customers out there for good land but auction is not the preferred route.
"We are getting excellent prices on the private treaty side but customers and solicitors are not willing to risk auction."
Tipperary seems to have bucked the national trend and is the busiest county on the auction front with sales in the Premier accounting for over 61pc of land sales in Munster as published in the first six months of the year. Vincent Ryan of Tomas Ryan Borrisoleigh says that land for sale in Tipperary can be scarce, but this year is an exception.
"We are very surprised by the amount of land that has come for sale and by the prices being paid. There was a lot of negative press and predictions about land and prices in recent times but that has not been our experience," he says. "The local farmer is still the primary customer all the time," he says.
"This is why it makes sense to break bigger farms into lots."
John Hodnett of Hodnett Forde in Clonakilty is a firm believer in the private treaty market and lists a range of strong prices being achieved in private negotiations.
Like many auctioneers he agrees much land that would normally come on the market is tied up in leases and this has led to a scarcity on the market and higher prices.
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