Farmland in the south east of the country is worth more than land anywhere else in Ireland, new figures from Sherry FitzGerald and DTZ Sherry FitzGerald show.

The average price per acre of prime arable land in the country stood at approximately €11,700 at the end of December.

In counties Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Wexford and Waterford, the average price of prime arable land was €12,150 – €450 more per acre than the national average.

Looking at the average price per acre for prime grassland, values stood at €11,000/ac. Again, the south east bucked the trend, where the average per acre was €11,550.

Marginal grassland in the south east averaged at €7,550/ac. This put values €850 more valuable in the region compared to the national average of €6,700/ac.

Farmland in the mid east (Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) also registered values above the national average:

  • For prime arable land in the mid east, the average land value was €11,850.
  • For prime grassland in the mid east, the average land value was €11,350.
  • For marginal grassland in the mid east, the average land value was €7,950.

Meanwhile, in the midlands prices were below the national average:

  • Prime arable land in the midlands had an average land value of €10,150.
  • Prime grassland in the midlands had an average land value of €9,750.
  • Marginal grassland in the midlands had an average land value of €5,350.

The data on the average land values was released as Sherry FitzGerald announced that it is to hold a Spring Agricultural Land Auction on April 14, 2016.

It will be offering a variety of lots for sale and uniquely will be conducting auctions simultaneously in several locations across the country.

Philip Guckian, Sherry FitzGerald said that demand is likely to be strong for smaller parcels of land.

It was an interesting year for the agricultural land market in 2015 where we saw values for prime arable land and prime grassland grow steadily, while growth in marginal grassland was more moderate.

According to data compiled by Sherry FitzGerald the regions with the highest growth rates in 2015 were the south east and the west at 4.3% and 4.0% respectively, followed by the south west at 0.8%.

Notably the south east recorded strong price growth in all types of land in the year, the figures show.

A similar trend took place in the west and, albeit from a lower base, values in the west appear to be generally on the increase.

In contrast, Sherry FitzGerald found that the mid east experienced the largest fall at 1.6% during the 12-month period, while all other regions remained relatively stable.

Large parcels of land of 100 plus acres, both including a residence and without, witnessed increased demand during the year.

In particular, the average price of such parcels which include a residence rose by approximately 2.6% in 2015, according to Sherry FitzGerald.

However, this compares to a 5.6% increase recorded in 2014 and may be reflective of the notable moderation in Irish house price growth which took place in 2015.

The estates agents said that this slowdown can perhaps be attributable to farm estates in the commuter counties of Kildare and Wicklow.

Guckian expects they will have a large offering of lots from across the country varying from small parcels of lands to possibly large farms to suit all consumer’s needs.