Land prices close to bottoming out
Auctioneers say prices have stabilised and market has settled
The land market showed signs of bottoming out in 2009, the findings of the annual Farming Independent land price survey suggest.
The average price per acre paid for agricultural land in 2009 was €8,880/ac, the survey reveals. The figure for 2008 was just over €10,500/ac.
However, the total figure for the year was dragged down by the inclusion of the sale of a 1,540ac farm in Co Clare in November, which sold at auction for €1,157,000 or €751/ac.
When this exceptional sale is excluded, the average price per acre was just over €11,500.
A total of 95 farms were sold at auction in 2009 and reported in the national farming press. This compared to 110 in 2008, which was a dramatic decline from the 178 concluded auction sales the previous year.
Irish landowners who cashed in their assets in 2009 had a share of the €55,045,000 generated from auction sales.
One of the biggest factors influencing the market in 2009 was the absence of credit, auctioneers claimed.
This led to a significant number of properties being withdrawn at auction and later sold by private treaty. Such properties were not included in the annual survey on the basis that the sale amount is rarely made public.