Farmland sales are stable and on the up

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Although the national trend in agricultural land values seems to have stayed steady, the number of land sales is well up.

Although the national trend in agricultural land values seems to have stayed steady, the number of land sales is well up.

The price of Irish farmland last year was almost exactly the same as that for the previous year, finds leading estate agents Ganly Walters in a new national annual survey.

In its national survey on agricultural land prices, carried out annually by Ganly Walters, it was found that the average price paid for agricultural land across the entire country in 2013 was €10,500 per acre. In 2012 it was €10,586 per acre.

“This is a remarkably similar figure to that paid in 2012, so small a decrease overall nationally at just €86 per acre as to be totally insignificant”, says Robert Ganly, managing director of Ganly Walters Ltd., who is, in fact, forecasting a rise in agricultural land prices this year.

“We are currently experiencing a strong demand that looks set to continue for the year. With the good winter so far and the likelihood of substantial yields, coupled with a strong performance in the dairy sector, we expect values are likely to increase by as much as 5% overall in 2014”, stated Mr. Ganly.

midlands

There were 56 reported sales in 2013, including 7 sales successfully completed for undisclosed sums, out of 150 recorded properties advertised. The average price paid for land in 2013 decreased to €9,202 per acre, when compared to the 2012 average price of €10,190, giving an overall decrease of 9.7%, the Ganly Walters survey found.

In the 20 to 49 acres category, €9,967 per acre was paid in 2013, down slightly from the previous year’s average of €10,844 per acre. The survey included 30 sales in this category. Findings of the Ganly Walters survey showed that most of the activity in this category took place in Co. Meath, where there were as many as 26 sales. Ganly Walters sold by private treaty 15 acres at Enfield, Co. Meath.

An average price of €9,256 per acre was paid in the 50 to 99 acres category in 2013, based on the 11 reported sales. This represents a good increase from the 2012 average price of €8,708 per acre.

There were 6 reported sales in the 100 to 199 acres category with an average price in 2013 of €8,887 per acre, down from the 2012 average of €10,166. Ganly Walters sold a residential farm on 103 acres at Killaderry, Croghan Road, Daingan, Co. Offaly, at auction for €750,000.

In the 200 plus category, there were 2 sales, giving an average of €8,615, significantly down from the previous year where €11,199 was achieved per acre. Dowth Hall, Drogheda, Co Meath on 420 acres was sold privately by Ganly Walters.

The Ganly Walters survey found that far more land came to the market and changed hands with more transactions successfully completed in 2013 than in the previous year. This market development, a highly promising one for the Irish farming economy says Robert Ganly, is for the second year running.

Land sales nationally increased by as much as 13%, with most of the farmland purchased by farmers. Over the entire country, approximately 13,432 acres changed hands during 2013, compared to 12,100 acres in the previous year. There were also a higher number of recorded sales with 232 successfully completed in 2013, compared to 209 in 2012.

Not only was there a larger amount of acreage and more sales last year, but the total number of farms and holdings at 590 and the approximate 43,000 acres put on the market in 2013 was higher. In 2012 there were 562 farms and holdings up for sale and acreage was also slightly less with 41,000 acres brought to market.

Findings of this year’s Ganly Walters survey showed that prices have risen in many parts of Ireland for holdings of all sizes, with the exception of the midlands and south west regions, which saw some decreases in values in certain areas.

The 2013 Ganly Walters survey shows a complete turnabout in agricultural land values for some regions. The Northwest/West region, which had a slight decrease in 2012, enjoyed a huge increase last year. It had the highest national average increase, with the price up by as much 20.8% in 2013. The average price was €8,557 per acre last year, compared to €7,082 in 2012. This region also saw an unprecedented rise in the number of recorded sales, which more than doubled in 2013.

For the second year running Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow, recorded a strong increase in the average price of farmland again for 2013. The 2013 survey found that the combined Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow region enjoyed a large increase of 14.2% on the previous year with the average price paid per acre at €14,427 in 2013, compared to €12,636 in 2012. In 2012 the region topped the increase rankings with a rise of 14.3% in land values. As would be expected, the Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow prices again were the highest on average throughout the country.

The Southeast region, counties Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, not only recorded an increase for the second year running, but also had one of the highest national average increases in the provinces at 14.9%, with land rising to €11,959 per acre in the past 12 months from the 2012 average of €10,408 per acre. Holdings of all sizes saw an increase.

However, average land values in the Southwest region, like the Midlands region, dropped in 2013, following an increase in the previous year. The number of transactions was also down for both regions. In the Southwest region, the average price was €9,204 per acre in 2013, well down when compared to the €11,588 per acre paid in 2012. There was little change in values for the Northeast region.

This is the 21st annual agricultural land survey commissioned by Ganly Walters, which is renowned as one of the country’s top specialists in farms, agricultural lands, stud farms, estates and country houses.

The Ganly Walters 2013 survey findings were based on a total of 590 agricultural land properties advertised of which 232 sales were completed. However, the survey is based on 201 of these, as 31 sale prices were undisclosed and therefore could not be included.

Commenting on this latest agricultural land price survey, Robert Ganly said that “it’s very positive news, particularly in terms of market movement – the amount of acreage being put up for sale and the number of transactions successfully completed are both well up”.

Mr. Ganly believes that the outlook for agriculture land is good, predicting that “we will see overall land values strengthening again throughout the country this year, with some strong increases in many parts again and a good rise in the national average price of up to about 5%. All the indicators are there going forward”.

Ganly Walters surveyed the same properties by dividing the country into the provinces, Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster.

Findings show that the average price for 2013, at €10,500 per acre, is almost the very same as it was for 2012, which saw €10,586 being paid.

There were over 43,000 acres brought to the market in 2013, with almost 13,500 acres that were sold. These resulted from the 590 properties that were brought to the market, out of which there were 232 reported sales. The Ganly Walters survey is based on 201 of these properties as the balance was sold for undisclosed prices.

Leinster

This region saw the most activity in 2013.

There were over 20,000 acres brought to the market and over 9,300 acres were sold. As many as 300 properties were put on the market, out of which 142 were sold. The overall average price paid per acre for this region in 2013 was €11,748 per acre, up significantly from the 2012 average of €9,889 per acre, found the Ganly Walters survey.

In the 20-49 acres category, 69 properties were sold in 2013 giving an average of €11,942 per acre. In the larger category of 50-99 acres, 27 properties were sold with an average of €11,265 per acre. The 100-199 acres category had an average of €11,121 per acre in 2013, based on the 16 recorded sales. Finally, in the 200 plus acres category, 5 farms were sold resulting in an average of €12,614.

Munster

In Munster over 15,150 acres were brought to the market and over 3,500 acres were sold. Of the 191 properties brought to market, 46 were sold. The Ganly Walters survey showed that the overall average price paid in 2013 in this region was €9,171 per acre, a substantial increase on the €7,684 per acre in 2012.

In the 20-49 acres category, there were 22 sales with an average of €10,031 per acre. The larger category of 50-99 acres saw an average of €9,036 per acre.