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Ulster jumped to the top of the table in relation to the value of agricultural land -- and even showed a rise in value last year.

Agricultural land sold at auction in the province made on average €12,994/ac in the past year, up from €10,286/ac the previous year, the Farming Independent annual land price survey has revealed.

However, there were only nine farms sold under the hammer that were reported in the national farming press for the past 12 months, a decrease of two on the previous year.

A total of 172.77ac was sold in Ulster's Republic counties in the past year for a total of €2,244,000. All these sales were in counties Cavan and Monaghan, while there were no Donegal auction sales reported in the national farming press.

The prices paid for individual farms ranged from €7,500/ac to €21,588/ac.

The first of these was the average price paid for a 24ac non-residential farm at Tullyco, Cootehill, Co Cavan, which sold at auction in March for €180,000.

The highest price achieved was for 12.97ac at Maghernakill, Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, which sold under the hammer for €280,000. This equates to almost €21,500/ac. The property included a derelict residence.

One of the most substantial sales in the province during the year was the 30ac residential holding sale at Antiduff, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, which was sold in auction in June for €465,000 (€15,500/ac).

Farmers were the buyers of at least five of the properties that sold at auction, but this information was not available for the other auction sales.

Four of the farms sold were of 20ac or under.

Irish Independent