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Land prices increase 25pc over six months

Land prices nationally increased by 25pc in the first six months this year to an average of €10,200 per acre, but much larger price increases were seen in Munster and Connacht.

In Munster, prices increased by 33pc to an average of €12,000 per acre while those in Connacht rose 34pc to €8,200 per acre.

They are among the latest findings in a survey by Colliers International of reports, mainly of auction results, for 80 land sales.

Nationally, 3,900 acres changed hands with a combined value of €41m so far this year. This compares with total sales nationwide of €162.9m in 2011 when 19,870 acres were sold in 443 land transactions. The national average price per acre was €8,200 last year.

This year, the Leinster market has proved to be the most active with 48 sales and 2,605 acres sold during the first six months. Land prices in the province increased by 8.5pc to an average of €10,500 per acre.

Edward Townshend, associate director country estate and farm division at Colliers, attributes this year's rapid gain in values to a significant increase in commodity prices in all sectors including cereals, beef and milk during the past 12 months.

"The reduction of stamp duty on agricultural land from 6pc to 2pc in the last Budget was also a contributory factor as are the EU plans to eliminate limits on the amount of milk that can be produced" he adds.

The highest price recorded so far this year was in Ovens, Co Cork, where a 30-acre tillage farm achieved €23,600 an acre and was reputed to have been bought by a dairy farmer.

The average recorded in Dublin County was €13,000 an acre. The most notable sale in the county was a 160-acre tillage farm in Ballyboughal that made €13,750 an acre.

The average recorded in Co Meath was €10,000 an acre and €13,500 in Co Kildare, slightly higher than in Co Dublin.

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In the three Ulster counties in the Republic, 364 acres changed hands in 10 land sales at an average of €10,200 per acre -- an increase of 24pc on 2011 price levels.

In Munster, 805 acres changed hands in 16 land sales while in Connacht, 136 acres changed hands in six transactions.

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