Land prices on increase

For the first time in more than four years the national trend in agricultural land values has turned around. The price of Irish farmland is now on the increase, according to property consultants Knight Frank Ireland.

For the first time in more than four years the national trend in agricultural land values has turned around. The price of Irish farmland is now on the increase, according to property consultants Knight Frank Ireland.

Agricultural land prices have increased by as much as 14.7% nationally for the year 2011, reports Robert Ganly of Knight Frank Ireland. In its national survey on agricultural land prices, carried out annually by Knight Frank Ireland, it was found that the average price paid for agricultural land across the entire country in 2011 was €10,064 per acre.

This represents an overall national increase of 14.7% over the past 12 months, based on the national average price of €8,776 per acre paid in 2010, which saw some price stabilisation in parts of the country. Prices had risen in some counties, but the price of land dropped on average by 9.3% nationally in that year.

In the midlands there were 43 reported sales in 2011, up from the 2010 total of 39 sales. The average price paid for land in 2011 increased by a significant 15.7%, rising to €9,587 per acre from the average price in 2010 of €8,286. There were a further six sales successfully completed for undisclosed sums.

In the 20 to 49 acre category, €10,221 per acre was paid in 2011, up from the previous year’s average of €9,556 per acre. The survey included 22 sales in this category. A residential farm on 30 acres, Clonad, Portlaoise sold for €415,000.

An average price of €8,963 per acre was paid in 2011 in the 50 to 99 acre category, based on the 12 reported sales. This is an increase from the 2010 average price of €7,600 per acre. There were 3 additional sales with undisclosed sales prices – 63 acres, 50 acres and 74 acres, all in Co. Meath. Cullentra House, Longwood, Co. Meath on 78 acres sold for €910,000.

There were 3 reported sales in the 100 to 199 acre category with an average price in 2011 of €9,609 per acre, well up from the 2010 average of €7,982. Additionally, 186 acres in Co. Westmeath sold for an undisclosed sum. Coolamber Manor, Co. Longford on 150 acres, which was sold by Knight Frank Ireland privately, has also not been included in the survey.

In the 200 plus acre category, there was just one sale with 280 acres in Co. Westmeath. This was sold for an undisclosed amount, so was not included in the survey.

Again, for a consecutive year, most of the farmland was purchased by farmers, with some even buying back, at a so-called discounted price, land that they had sold during the boom. Over the entire country, approximately 9,400 acres changed hands during 2011.