Significant drop in agricultural land sold in 2020

Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) today (Thursday 10th February) reveals that there has been a significant drop in the total volume of farmland sold in Ireland in 2020 compared to 2019.

According to the CSO Farmland prices 202029,031 acres of farmland were sold in 2020, compared to 61.99 acres in 2019.

Unsurprisingly, the Southeast led the charge in the most expensive region to buy farmland.

At €10,645/acre, the southeast of the country was well ahead in 2020 with 2,093 acres sold at a median price of €10,645/acre.

This price is significantly higher than the national median price of €6,992/acre, the price at which 29,031 acres of farmland were sold.

The west of the country was the cheapest region with 6,412 acres of land sold at a median price of €4,625/acre.

This region represented the largest volume of land sold.

Meanwhile, the area with the lowest volume of land sold – just 605 acres – was the Southwest.

Agricultural land – the devil in the detail

A closer look at some of the CSO data revealed that in 2020 the median price for arable land was €10,338/acre, while the median price for permanent grassland was €6,791/acre.

Outside of Dublin, the most expensive price per acre of arable land was in the Midlands region with a median price of €14,351/acre in 2020.

The highest median price per acre of permanent grassland was in the southeast at €10,944/acre.

The lowest price, per acre, for arable land was in the Middle East with a median price per acre of €9,660, and the lowest price per acre for permanent grassland was in the West region at €4,625 /acre.

The highest value of farmland sold in Ireland was in the Midlands, where over €40m of land was sold in 2020.

The South West had the lowest value of land sold in 2020 with €4.45 million of land sold.

Anthony Dawson, CSO statistician, said:

“Today’s posting shows there was a noticeable 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/acre compared to 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/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.”

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

Data from the previous year has also been updated to reflect this methodological improvement, according to the CSO.

Amalia H. Mercado