Land prices up by 20pc as farming fortunes improve
Land prices strengthened by almost 20pc over the past year on the back of improved farm incomes and continuing fears over the future of the euro.
The annual Farming Independent land price survey found that the average price paid for farmland in 2011 was €10,024/ac. This was up almost €1,600/ac on the figure for 2010, which stood at €8,420/ac.
The recovery meant that agricultural land prices bounced back close to the 2008 levels of €10,500/ac. Auctioneers attributed the lift to improved fortunes in farming over the past 12 months. The ongoing uncertainty regarding the future of the euro also played a role.
The general view was that farmers with money in the bank had become increasingly nervous through the year and were keen to convert their cash into assets, and land was viewed as a relatively safe haven.
The price survey was based on land sold at auction over the last year and sales reported in the farming press.
The best of the land prices were paid along the east coast region. A number of farms came onto the market in north Co Dublin. However, there was no development value attached to them and the average price paid was €14,836/ac.
Kildare came next in the price stakes, with an average of €12,647/ac.
Staying in the eastern belt, the average price paid in Meath was €10,309/ac, while in Wicklow it was €10,250/ac.