Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Land auction prices crash to 5-year low

The most expensive property to sell at auction in Ireland in 2008 was Beechy Park in Rathvilly, Co Carlow. This period residence on 244ac achieved €5.35m at an auction sale in March
The most expensive property to sell at auction in Ireland in 2008 was Beechy Park in Rathvilly, Co Carlow. This period residence on 244ac achieved €5.35m at an auction sale in March
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

The average price of farmland sold at auction last year tumbled dramatically to a five-year low of just over €10,500/ac.

The annual Farming Independent land price survey revealed that the average price/ac paid for land in 2008 was just €10,561, compared with €24,000 in 2007.

However, when individual sales are examined, the picture isn't quite as gloomy as the national average price suggests.

The highest price/ac achieved in 2008 was €41,595 -- at the auction sale of Newtown House on 116ac at Eadestown, Naas, Co Kildare. The property, which included a derelict residence, was sold under the hammer in May for €4.825m.

For the land price survey, the country was divided into five areas: Munster, Connacht, Ulster, the commuter belt counties (Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow), and the rest of Leinster.

The values used in the survey are prices of farms actually sold at auction that were reported in the national farming press in 2008.

Farms that were withdrawn from auction unsold or sold, prior to or after auction, were excluded from the survey on the basis that the actual selling price is rarely revealed to the public.

Only land parcels of more than 10ac were included in the survey.

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A total of 110 farms were sold at auction in 2008 and reported in the national farming press. This compared to 178 auction sales the previous year.

Irish landowners who cashed in their assets in 2008 had a share of the €54,979,857 generated from auction sales.

The single biggest factor influencing the market in 2008 was the downturn in the economy, which was particularly evident in the past six months.

Many auctioneers revealed that the credit crunch had led to a lack of confidence on the part of prospective buyers, who were more cagey about committing to a sale. As a result, many vendors chose to go the private treaty route.

The highest amount paid for an agricultural property in 2008 was €5.35m -- the total paid for Beechy Park, a period residence on 244ac in Rathvilly, Co Carlow.

Almost 66pc of farms sold during the year were less than 50ac, 22pc were greater than 50ac but less than 100ac, and 8pc ranged from 100ac to 150ac.

Just two farms were above 150ac but less than 200ac and two of the farms sold were above 200ac.

However, one of the two farms above 200ac was the 450ac Warrenstown farm in Drumree, Co Meath, which was declared sold at auction, but the sale later fell through. It was reintroduced to the market later in the year.

Of all the farms sold at auction throughout the period, only 35pc were residential.

However, a further 6pc of farms sold at auction had either a derelict residence on the land or planning permission for a residence.