Average farmland price rises to €9,700/ac – Sherry FitzGerald

Recent research carried out by Sherry FitzGerald found that the average price of farmland in Ireland, excluding Dublin, increased to just over €9,700/ac in the opening half of the year – a climb of 1.8%.

Growth in agricultural land values has been robust for the past year now, the study found, with prices increasing 3.1% annually to the second quarter of 2018. This contrasts with a decline of 1.5% in land values to the 12 months to June 2017.

All agricultural land types saw their values rise, with both prime and marginal grassland observing growth of 1.7% in the first six months of the year.

Furthermore, on an annual basis, prime and marginal grassland has increased by 3% and 3.2% respectively. On the back of these price gains, the average price of prime grassland nationally, excluding Dublin, was approximately €10,950/ac; the average price of poorer-quality land was approximately €6,550/ac.

In addition, prime arable farmland increased by 1.8% in the opening half of 2018.

Strongest prices

Prices have been strongest in the mid-east. Commenting on the Meath and mid-east region, Niall Mulligan – Sherry FitzGerald Royal – said: “The price of good-quality agricultural land in the Meath area has remained very healthy at between €10,500/ac and €11,500/ac.

“Steady commodity prices have helped the market; but, more importantly, the reduced volume of good farmland coming for sale – owing in no small part to the increase in long-term leases – has helped keep prices static.”

Commenting on the overall market, Roseanne De Vere Hunt – head of Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes, Farms and Estates – said: “The continued increase in land prices nationally is a positive reflection of the demand in the market at present.

“However, demand may be tested given the extreme weather conditions this year – which have affected farm incomes. This, along with the possibility that a no-deal Brexit may occur, has brought about a greater cautiousness to the agricultural land market,” she said.