Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Land sales at busiest level since 2011

Jim O'Brien

Jim O'Brien

In the latest review of farmland sales in 2014 a Ganly Walters survey shows that land prices were virtually unchanged at €10,526 /ac through 2014.

Robert Ganly of Ganly Walters estate agents, claimed that last year was also the busiest since 2011.

"With 16,849ac changing hands in 2014 that's a 25.4pc increase on 2013 levels," he said.

The Ganly Walters results are based on the prices disclosed from 212 sales, both auction and private treaty, in which 14,241ac was sold for a combined value of €149.9m. A further 2,613ac changed hands for undisclosed prices. When the 2,613ac are valued at the average disclosed price then it can be estimated that the total value of transactions in 2014 was more than €177.3m.

The Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow region continued as the most expensive area for farm land. Prices in the region held very close to 2013 levels and averaged €14,064/ac. The region's 2014 price is the second highest seen since 2009 when it fell as low as €10,920. However, despite increases since 2009, prices are still as much as 54pc below the peak of €30,543/ac seen in 2007.

In the northeast average farmland prices increased 36pc to €10,868/ac. This region, which includes counties Louth, Cavan and Monaghan, saw over 1,400ac change hands in 23 sales.

Price increases of 24pc were recorded in the southwest, with an average of €10,943/ac for the 3,410/ac sold in counties Cork, Tipperary, Kerry and Limerick.

This reflects a trend identified in the Farming Independent survey which saw land in this end of the country sell for an average of over €11,000/ac or an increase of 18pc on the previous year

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In contrast, significant falls were seen in the southeast and western regions. In the southeast, which includes Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, the prices fell 14.5pc to an average of €10,226/ac. This fall again mirrors the trend in the Farming Independent survey for this region which recorded a price fall of 17pc.

In the west and northwest - including counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare - prices averaged €6,622/ac. While that's down 22.6pc on 2013 levels, nevertheless it's 23pc above the trough of €5,386/ac recorded for the region in 2010.

Signs of stability were also seen in the midlands where prices dipped 1.7pc to an average of €9,045/ac across counties Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford and Laois. This is in contrast, however, to the Sherry FitzGerald survey which saw land prices increase in this region.

Mr Ganly welcomed the stabilisation of prices as it will allow expansion minded farmers to plan for increased production.

"At a time of uncertainty in the beef and dairy sectors, stable land prices can provide some assurance to those farmers seeking land in order to attain productivity increases," he added.

Indo Farming