Investors and emigrants driving demand for land
Average price paid for agricultural ground last year was €10,492/ac
Money earned on the gas pipelines of Queensland and the oil sands of northern Canada is helping to drive the rural property market.
Emigrants looking to invest back in Ireland and cash customers searching for a safe home for their money are among a new wave of private investors seeking to acquire farmland, auctioneers report.
These investors and farmers looking to expand made up the bulk of the buyers of agricultural properties last year, a major survey of farmland prices has found.
The Farming Independent survey found that the average price paid for farmland last year was €10,492/ac, an increase of 3pc or €300/ac on the 2012 figure.
The comprehensive survey of land transactions was based on 158 auctions held throughout the country and covered the sale of 8,216ac which sold for €86.2m.
The survey found distinct regional differences in price, with an average of €13,486/ac being paid in south Leinster, almost double the €7,400/ac average for Connacht/Ulster.
The average price paid for an acre of farmland in north Leinster came in at €10,070, while in Munster the price paid was €9,600/ac.
The vast majority of customers for farmland in 2013 were "cash customers" who saw land as a "safe home" for their money, Kildare auctioneer Paddy Jordan said.