Highest growth in land sales is
recorded in the midlands

The average value of all farmland in Ireland rose by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014; this brings the growth in the year to 3%, according to the latest report by Sherry FitzGerald Group.

The average value of all farmland in Ireland rose by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014; this brings the growth in the year to 3%, according to the latest report by Sherry FitzGerald Group.

The highest growth rate in the quarter and in the year was witnessed in the Midlands region which grew 1.6% in the three months to December; bringing growth in the year to 6.5%. Furthermore, farmland values grew consistently throughout 2014 in the South-West and the Mid-East regions.

Prices remained stable in Dublin throughout the year. That said, Dublin still remains the region with the highest average farmland value, €12,700 per acre.

The Border and the West regions continue to be the most challenged in terms of land values, declining by 1.2% and 0.5% in the twelve months to December, respectively.

Overall, a volatile performance was witnessed in 2014, with prices rising steadily in the first and third quarters while the pace of growth in both the second and final quarters was more moderate.

The report noted that demand is strongest for prime arable land and the best quality grassland; the average price of prime arable land grew by 3.6% in the twelve months to December, while similarly, grassland increased by 3.2%. Growth in marginal grassland was slower, up 1.4% in the twelve month period.

An analysis of sentiment in the marketplace at present reveals that confidence has improved, with the majority of respondents believing that buyer sentiment increased towards the end of 2014. That said, 53% of respondents regarded activity in the market in the three months to December to be relatively stable.

It appears that supply levels have significantly tightened, with 98% of respondents believing that supply has either decreased or remained stable in the quarter.

This supply shortage is significantly contributing to price inflation in the market at present.

Key Findings:

The average value of farmland rose by 3% in the twelve months to December 2014. Growth 0.2% was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014

Demand is strongest for prime arable land and the best quality grassland; the average price of prime arable land grew by 3.6% in the twelve months to December, while similarly, grassland increased by 3.2%.

Growth in marginal grassland was slower, up 1.4% in the twelve month period.

An analysis of sentiment in the marketplace at present reveals that confidence has improved.

Supply levels have significantly tightened, with 98% of respondents believing that supply has either decreased or remained stable in the quarter.

Commenting on the market, David Ashmore, Head of Country Homes, Farms & Estates, Sherry FitzGerald said:

“Pricing between residential and non-residential farms is widening as the residential market improves and significant price differences are emerging between ‘prospect’ agricultural land and ‘pure’ agricultural land with increases of between 15% and 100% witnessed across the country for this product over the last 12 months, against 3% for pure agricultural land.

“The abolishment of quotas should make 2015 an interesting year for the dairying sector.”