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25 May 2022

Survey reveals true prices paid for Longford farmland

Survey reveals true prices paid for Longford farmland

Survey reveals true prices paid for Longford farmland

Average non-residential farmland prices in Longford ranged from €4,967 per acre for poor quality land to €13,667 for good quality land in 2021, a major survey has revealed.

SCSI auctioneers and valuers say that following strong price growth in 2021, particularly for good land, the price of agricultural land in general looks set to increase by 6% on average this year.

 In a major new survey, chartered surveyors, auctioneers, and valuers, operating in the agricultural and rental markets say sales activity was boosted by the exit from Covid restrictions and they predict prices will continue to rise, underpinned by strong demand and a continuing low supply of land for sale.

The price of good land showed the biggest increase in 2021 - up by an average of 17% nationally from €9,381 to €10,962 per acre. The price of all non-residential land, on holdings of less than 50 acres also showed significant increases. In Leinster prices were up 12%, in Munster they rose by 14% while the increase in Connacht / Ulster was 5%.

In Leinster the price of a good acre of non-residential land on holdings less than 50 acres ranged from €15,350 in Kildare – the most expensive land in both the province and the country – to €11,600 in Offaly.

The average price of an acre of good land in Longford was €13,670, a sharp rise on the €7,900 figure from 2020 and which sees Longford move from the lowest price for good quality land in Leinster to mid-table.

While Leinster counties made up the first 8 places on last year’s most expensive list Cork has shot up into second on €15,070 on the current list with Louth next on €14,500, Meath on €14,230 and Tipperary on €14,000 making up the Top 5.

The average price of an acre of poor-quality non-residential land on less than 50 acres in Leinster ranged from, €9,125 in Louth – the highest in the province for this land type – to €4,970 In Longford, down from €5,500 in 2020.

As this shows, the upward arc of prices was not uniform. While the average price of poor-quality land may be up on smaller holdings in the three regions, nationally, the average price for poor-quality land dropped from €5,900 in 2020 to €5,308 last year, a fall of 10%. This decline can be attributed to price developments for larger parcels of poor land in Munster and in some parts of Connacht / Ulster.

According to the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland / Teagasc Agricultural Land Market Review and Outlook Report 2022 demand for rented ground remains strong with rents this year expected to rise by 10% nationally.

Looking at the provincial picture agents expect rents to rise by 12% in Leinster and by 9% in Munster and Connacht/Ulster. Last year Leinster recorded the strongest rental growth figures with rental prices for silage, grazing, potatoes, and other crops rising by between 18% and 29%.                       

The survey of 95 auctioneers and valuers from all over the country was conducted in February and March 2022.

Jonathan Quinn of Quinn Property Partners, a member of the SCSI’s Residential Agency Committee said the lifting of covid restrictions boosted sales activity and market confidence.

“In our survey 53% of SCSI agents reported an increase in the volume of land sold when compared to the previous year while 24% reported that the volume of land sold remained the same. In addition, two thirds of valuers reported an increase in the percentage of valuation requests for the transfer of land. This is up from 43% in 2020. These are positive trends and show confidence in the market from sellers and buyers

“As market demands strengthen one trend which SCSI members are reporting is greater interest in dwellings on smaller holdings. One of the consequences of Covid is that more and more people are now working from home and in many cases seeking a better work life balance outside of large urban centres. It’s worth noting that typically residential farms of less than 50 acres are around 20% more expensive than non-residential farms of similar size.”

“While we saw significant price changes in different counties and for various land types last year the overall market sentiment going forward remains positive. Agents anticipate an average increase in land values of 6% this year.  This forecast is primarily based on the supply demand imbalance where an insufficient level of land is available for sale. This is particularly true with regard to dairy farmers who are looking to increase the size of their holdings.”

“It’s a similar situation with regard to land rental prices, with the forecast increase for this year reflecting the tightening supply of rental land, particularly as land parcels continue to be tied up in longer-term leases.”

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