The supply of land has plummeted in Laois while the value of what went to market last year has also dropped, according to Irish Farmers Journal Land Report 2016.
The farming newspaper reports that just 1,647 acres of agricultural land was put on the market last year a 28% drop on 2015 when 2,291 acres was offered for sale. This is the second consecutive year that supply has fallen.
However, the report seems to show that Laois defies the supply and demand rule. Normally when supply falls price and value goes up but in Laois, that average values fell by 6% going from €10,350 per acre to €9,769 last year.
The figures also reveal that land prices have nowhere near recovered to Celtic Tiger Levels. In 2007 the average land price per acre peaked at €25,000. Today's value of less than €10,000 is down a massive 60% on boom values.
The Farmers Journal reports that prices ranged from €4,700 an acre for land in the Mountmellick area to the top price of €18,200 an acre for a small piece of land close to the motorway that had planning permission for a house. A total of 41 farms went to market the biggest being a 255 acre property.
Despite the big drop last year there was a health level of activity. In total, 22 sales deals were done - a 69% success. Eleven properties made €9,000 an acre or more.
Despite the fall in value in Laois, land here is still making above average prices. Nationally, the average land values fell by 1.6% down from €8,771 a second consecutive year of decline.
Among the sales highlighted by the paper were a 45-acre residential package of land at Tarbert, Abbeyleix which sold for €429,000 or €9,500 an acre. A 45-acre farm at Larkins Cross, Portlaoise sold for €300,000 or €6,600 an acre. A 42.7 acre farm on the Kilkenny border at Ballyouskil, Attanagh sold for €610,000 or €14,200. A 26.5 acre parcel at Luggacurren wen for €35,000 or €12,200 an acre.
Other highlights included a 42 acre farm at Glenfield, Portlaoise which made €405,000 or €9,600 an acre. A small 20 acre plot at Treascon, Portarlington made €130,000 or €6,500 an acre. A 21-acre parcel in Stradbally was purchsed for €267,500 or €12,700 an acre.
A 74-acre farm in the Portlaoise area made €5,700 and acre while a 42-acre plot at Corrig, Portarlington reached €480,00.
A landmark deal that went through last year was the sale of a 255 acre farm which included an impressive country residence at Tulach Nore, Pike of Rushall. It is understood to have sold privately. It also mentions the 109 acre stretch of development land beside the motorway near Portlaoise which has attracted the interest of Supermacs owner Pat McDonagh.
Other key stats on Laois were:
62% of farms sold were under 40 -acres
61% were offered for sale by private treaty
51%of farms sold were non-residential