‘Notable decline’ as 29,031 acres of farmland sold in 2020

Land availability has tightened considerably in the pandemic year, particularly in the Southern figures released this week by the Central Bureau of Statistics.

In 2020, 29,031 acres of farmland were sold nationwide for a median price of €6,992 per acre.

This is a notable drop in the volume of land sold compared to 2019, with a 53% drop in volume completed compared to the previous year. However, estate agents said they remained busy suggesting the figures could reflect a delay in sales moving from agreed sale to completion.

The South East was the most expensive region to buy land with 2,093 acres sold at a median price of €10,645 per acre, while the West was the cheapest region with 6,412 acres of land sold at a median price of €4,625 per acre.

At the same time, a median price of €8,500 was reached in the South West.

Average prices are slightly higher, the average paid in the South West being €7,348 compared to €6,915 in 2019.

The West had the highest volume of farmland sold with 6,412 acres while the South West was the area with the lowest volume of land sold with 605 acres.

Commenting on the statement, Anthony Dawson, Statistician, said: “Today’s release shows there has been a notable drop in the volume of land sold in Ireland in 2020 with 29,031 acres of land sold at a median price of €6,992 per acre against 61,997 acres of land sold in 2019.

“The most expensive region to buy farmland was in the South East (Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Waterford) where 2,093 acres of farmland sold for a median price of €10,645 per acre.

“The West (Galway, Mayo and Roscommon) was the cheapest region to buy land where 6,412 acres of land sold for a median price of €4,625.

“The South West (Cork, Kerry) was the region where the least volume of land was sold with only 605 acres of land sold in 2020.”

Farmland prices for 2020 have been compiled using an updated methodology, which means more transactions have been used in the calculation of the series, improving both the quality and coverage of the statistics on land prices.

Data from previous years have also been updated to reflect this methodological improvement.

However, Eamonn O’Brien of CCM Property Network, a Midleton-based estate agency specializing in rural property and farmland, said the pandemic has sparked increased interest in farmland.

The company sold several agricultural properties during the year at an average of around €11,447 per acre. Highlights included a 90 acre farm in Midleton and 60 acres listed with a house in Castlemartyr for £1.3million.

“2020 has been a better year for business because in times of uncertainty people seek security. Some people buy gold, the Irish buy land, it’s asset backed, for sure, they can make an income out of it and in 20 years it’s still there,” he said. declared.

“The pandemic has focused people’s attention on what they want. The public sale of land was down because during the confinement the public auctions were cancelled.

“But private treaty sales have been very strong. Farmers were the only group of people able to move around the countryside.

He said average prices seemed “pretty low”.

“At the bottom of the scale, you would have marginal land that would probably end up in forestry,” O’Brien said.

“The value of farmland depends on its size, location and business opportunities.

“But farmland is seen as a safe investment. With residential, you still have this rental problem gone wrong and you are taxed very differently.

Amalia H. Mercado