Land prices are rising as dairy farmers compete with commercial buyers


The price of everything is rising and it could be argued that farmland is leading the way.

Even before the war in Ukraine, land prices were on an upward trend.

The phenomenon is not just limited to parts of the country where high property prices are expected, such as Wexford, South Tipperary, Cork and the Dublin region, counties such as Longford have also paid £15,770 this week for a farm sold by Murtagh Bros in Rathbracken near Granard.

In the south, GVM’s Tom Crosse recently saw €26,000/ac for land in West Limerick when a UK-based buyer bought a 21ac farm in Shanagolden ahead of the auction.

He sold three farms in an hour at auction last Thursday.

An 87ac farm in Tullabracky, Bruff in Co Limerick went on the market for €1.1m and was sold for €1.13m or €13,000/ac, a 9.6ac plot in Lemonfield, Crecora , some 12 km from Limerick, raised €27,000 /ac whilst a 1ac plot without planning near Adare was bought from a dairy farmer for €42,000.

In Co Meath, Thomas Potterton sold a 47ac farm in Tanderagee Longwood in two lots. An 8.5ac pack fetched over €17,000/ac while a 39ac pack sold for €512,000 or over €13,000/ac.

At Clooneybeirne, Roscommon Tom Fox was paid over €10,000/ac for a 36ac farm, a very strong price for this side of the country.

According to Dillon Murtagh of Murtagh Bros, buyer confidence in the agricultural sector is very high in the Midlands at over €18,000/ac for land in Westmeath.

GVM’s Tom Crosse says the price of milk at 50 cents/litre means dairy farmers have strong purchasing power.

“But near Limerick City, the business buyer is competing with the farmer. Most of the farms I’ve sold recently have seen stiff competition between farmers and the corporate sector,” he said.

“Corporate buyers are looking for land as a safe and profitable haven for their money. Dairy farmers have the money and need the land.”

Roscommon’s Tom Cox agrees that the company buyer is a key player: “These people are being asked to keep their money in the bank and land is a better option,” he said.

Analyzing the property market in his county, Mr Cox says Irish people working abroad are prominent players.

“These people came from the country and they always want a piece of their own. I recently sold a farm to a man in the construction industry in England who bought it for his retirement,” he said.

Mr Cox also believes people have saved a lot of money post Covid and this has enabled them to buy land or borrow to buy land. Land prices are rising as dairy farmers compete with commercial buyers

Fry Electronics Team

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