Price of farmland on the increase

FARMING continues to defy the recession. The Southeast region of Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, recorded the highest increase in agricultural land over the last 12 months on average at 33.5%, with land rising to €9,725 per acre in the past 12 months from the 2010 average of €7,287 per acre, despite decreases in smaller holdings.

FARMING continues to defy the recession. The Southeast region of Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, recorded the highest increase in agricultural land over the last 12 months on average at 33.5%, with land rising to €9,725 per acre in the past 12 months from the 2010 average of €7,287 per acre, despite decreases in smaller holdings.

It marks the first time in more than four years that the national trend in agricultural land values has turned around. The price of Irish farmland is now on the increase, finds leading independent global property consultants Knight Frank Ireland in a new national annual survey.

There were 29 sales in Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, plus a further two sales successfully completed but at undisclosed amounts. The price averaged €9,725 per acre, which was well up on the 2010 average price of €7,287 per acre and represented a huge increase of 33.5%.

In the smallest category of 20 to 49 acres, the average price was €10,487 per acre in 2011. In the previous year, the average price paid was almost on a par at €10,269 per acre. There were 11 sales included in the survey; a further sale of 37 acres in Co. Kilkenny took place.

In the 50 to 99 acre category, farmland sold for €9,796 per acre in 2011, slightly down on the average of €10,240 per acre for the region in 2010. Sold for an undisclosed sum were 72 acres in Co. Kilkenny. Toortane, Lismore, Co. Waterford, a residential farm on 98 acres, sold for €815,000.

The average price paid in the 100 to 199 acre category was €7,148 per acre in 2011, again representing a decrease from 2010, which saw an average price of €10,329 per acre being paid. Killerig, Co. Carlow, a non-residential farm of 112 acres, sold for €1,175,000.

There were 3 sales in the largest category of 200 acres plus. The average price here was €9,725 per acres in 2011, compared to the 2010 average of €4,713 per acre. Again, for a consecutive year, most of the farmland was purchased by farmers, with some even buying back, at a so-called discounted price, land that they had sold during the boom. Over the entire country, approximately 9,400 acres changed hands during 2011.