War, inflation and energy shortages have had no impact on land sales, where prices remain high and there is no shortage of customers from all walks of agriculture and beyond.
Expansionary dairy farmers, businesspeople looking for a solid investment and a more positive approach to land purchases by banks all contributed to a buoyant first half of land sales nationwide.
A property survey based on reported sales figures in national media showed that 2,405 Ac land came under the hammer in a mix of online, in-person and hybrid auctions. This generated revenue of €39.369M, equivalent to a price per acre of €13,359/ac.
The number of auctions taking place was only slightly higher at 38 than in the same period in 2021, while the amount of land sold increased by 34 percent. The amount generated from sales increased by 53 percent. The average price per hectare rose by 13.5 percent.
The most expensive piece of land in this period was sold in Cork where a 57.7 ac farm in Ballineen between Bandon and Dunmanway fetched €44,627/ac under the hammer of John Hodnett.
The presence of generous sand and gravel deposits obviously contributed to the price as one buyer in the aggregates business came out on top.
The largest farm for sale was a 152ac arable farm, Primrose Park, sold by Savills on the outskirts of Ashbourne in Co Meath.
The property brought in 4.1 million euros and excluding the house this translates to a price per hectare of 24,000 euros/ac, an enormous number for such a land area.
At 17,858/ac, Münster achieved the highest average price per acre. This was no doubt influenced by bumper sales in West Cork. But even without this property, the average price paid in the province of €14,275/ac was ahead of the other regions.
North Leinster had some notable results. The region hosted the most auctions, sold the highest acreage at 906ac and achieved the highest return at €12.417m. While acreage sold in the first six months of 2022 fell 8 percent from acreage sold in the same period last year, generated revenue increased 11 percent.
Savills’ James Butler describes the market as very strong. “The combined purchasing power of the customers that we have on our books is stronger than it has been at any time in the last five years,” he said, “for many of these people, land is no longer just about food production, it’s a commodity in itself a hedge against inflation and, for some, an ecological and environmental investment.”
Despite all the uncertainty – fueled by the Ukraine war and the resulting inflation in fuel and fertilizer prices – Mr. Butler remains bullish on property values and property sales. “We don’t see the enthusiasm abating, quite the opposite, and we have the evidence.
“The sale of Primrose Park is a case in point and we are completing the sale of 217ac arable, grazing and equestrian farm at Kilnamanagh in Glenealy, County Wicklow.”
Dairy farmers continue to dominate the market. According to Castlecomer’s Joe Coogan, they’re ready to shop well beyond the milking platform.
“Farmers with 100 or 200 cows look for ways to expand when the opportunity presents itself. They are willing to buy 40 to 50 ac for silage and late pasture or zero pasture six to 10 miles from the home farm,” he said.
Land shortages in the east of the country are expected to push prices further higher, as auctioneers such as Paddy Jordan and Will Coonan say land is becoming scarce in the greater Dublin area.
Tom Crosse of GVM in Limerick believes banks are working more positively with farmers and others when buying land. He sees no drop in prices as €10,000/ac is being paid for heavier soil.
Trim’s Thomas Potterton says strong yields for milk, beef and grain will continue to boost land sales, leading to a brisk auction season in the autumn.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/farm-property/property-price-survey-dairy-farmers-dominate-the-market-as-farm-values-surge-41897923.html Home Price Survey: Dairy Farmers Dominate Market While Agricultural Values Rise