Price gap widens in land market
Top-end farms averaging €15,000/ac but marginal land going for €4,000/ac
GOOD grazing ground is generally selling for between €9,000/ ac and €10,000/ac despite this year’s poor weather, the continuing fodder difficulties, and the threat of Brexit.
However, two recent landprice surveys also noted a widening gulf in sale values between top-class land and marginal ground, with prices ranging from €15,000/ac to €4,000/ac.
The surveys were carried out on behalf of the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV) and estate agents Sherry FitzGerald, and were published at last week’s Ploughing Championships.
The IPAV report found that the average national price was in the region of €9,000/ac to €9,500/ac.
However, it described agricultural land prices in the last 12 months as “steady but uneven”, with a broad price range which was determined by “location and quality”.
A selection of IPAV members saw prices range from €4,000/ ac paid for marginal lands to €15,000/ac paid for smaller plots within the commuter belt of Dublin and other large population centres.
The inclement weather was one of the main factors affect- ing sentiment and confidence in 2018, according to the IPAV report.
IPAV chief executive Pat Davitt said land values are generally a key indicator of the agricultural sector’s health.
He said that the worry about Brexit was being felt particularly in the Border counties where sales activity and investment had slowed considerably.
Tom Crosse of the IPAV’s agricultural committee said sales activity had picked up following this summer’s drought.
“It remains to be seen if the recent pick up in the supply of quality lands coming on the market will be sustained,” he commented.
Meanwhile, a report by Sherry FitzGerald found that land prices rose by 1.8pc in the first half of 2018, with an average price of €9,700/ac being achieved by land outside the Dublin area.
The report puts the average price of good grassland at €10,950/ac, while poorer quality grassland is making €6,550/ac.
While acknowledging the increased demand for farmland and higher prices, Roseanne De Vere Hunt of Sherry FitzGerald said “a greater cautiousness” was apparent in the land market due to the hit farm incomes had taken this year, and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.