Wick­low land prices jumped 17% in 2017

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS - By DEBORAH COLE­MAN

AGRI­CUL­TURAL land prices in County Wick­low jumped by 17 per cent in 2017, rep­re­sent­ing an in­crease from €10,140/acre in 2016 to €12,060/acre last year.

Ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures pub­lished in the an­nual Ir­ish Farm­ers Jour­nal Agri­cul­tural Land Price Re­port, this fol­lows a pre­vi­ous jump of 19 per cent in 2016.

Co Wick­low, known for its rich agri­cul­tural land and rolling hills, of­fered the sec­ond high­est num­ber of acres for sale last year, with 6,893 com­ing to the mar­ket. This is sec­ond only to Cork, which had 7,134 acres.

The county also of­fered the big­gest es­tate of land for sale – Lug­gala, which stands on 5,000 acres and is guided at €28 mil­lion.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which was com­piled by An­thony Jor­dan, the av­er­age price paid for land across the 26 coun­ties in the Repub­lic of Ire­land in 2017 was €9,088/acre.

This is an in­crease of 3.61 per cent on the 2016 fig­ures, which stood at €8,771/acre.

It is the first time since 2014 that the av­er­age price per acre has risen over €9,000/acre. The im­prov­ing prices can be seen around the coun­try with 19 coun­ties show­ing an in­crease in land prices in 2017. Seven of these coun­ties, in­clud­ing Wick­low, saw a price rise of over ten per cent, with Laois ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the high­est jump of 22.1 per cent.

Just seven coun­ties saw a drop in av­er­age val­ues, with Water­ford, Mon­aghan, Done­gal and Kilkenny see­ing drops of over ten per cent.

The in­flu­ence of com­mod­ity price volatil­ity was plain to see in 2017.

The re­port doc­u­mented a bumper year for dairy farm­ers was coun­ter­acted by an­other poor year for grain.

‘Beef and sheep farm­ers had a bet­ter year than in 2016 but were largely un­able to com­pete with the dairy drive. It was just over 12 months ago when the milk price was on the floor and con­fi­dence was right there with it. What a dif­fer­ence a year makes and there is lit­tle doubt that land prices have sig­nif­i­cantly ben­e­fit­ted from this re­newed dairy vigour,’ said Mr Jor­dan.

The sup­ply of land of­fered to the mar­ket in 2017 to­talled 78,350 acres, up 6.2 per cent on 2016 when 73,778 acres were of­fered.

‘While the sup­ply in­creased in a gen­eral sense, one of the most fre­quent ob­ser­va­tions from across Ire­land last year was the scarcity of land. Our anal­y­sis shows 13 coun­ties in the Repub­lic of Ire­land had a sup­ply re­duc­tion in 2017 with a very no­tice­able re­duc­tion in the bor­der coun­ties with Done­gal, Mon­aghan, Ca­van and Louth all see­ing less land on the mar­ket, which may well be a di­rect im­pact of Brexit amid the un­cer­tainty around cross-bor­der trade,’ he said.

‘Fur­ther­more, just 47 per cent of the prop­er­ties of­fered for sale at auc­tion were sold un­der the ham­mer with both auc­tion­eers and sell­ing agents claim­ing this is partly due to (1) the rel­a­tively short time­frame in the auc­tion room that al­lows buy­ers to get their fi­nances in or­der and (2) Some sellers had un­re­al­is­tic ex­pec­ta­tions and were hold­ing out for more than €10,000 an acre mak­ing tar­gets un­vi­able and prop­er­ties be­ing ei­ther with­drawn or re­main­ing on the mar­ket,’ Mr Jor­dan added.

Lug­gala Es­tate.

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