Agricultural land values increased by 1% for the second successive quarter in Q1 2021, according to auctioneer Sherry Fitzgerald.

In the auctioneer’s “Irish Agricultural Land Market” report for the first three months, this marks the first time since the fourth quarter of 2018 that average values rose for consecutive quarters in the Sherry FitzGerald Agricultural Land Barometer.

Following similar levels of strong growth in the final quarter of 2020, values have now increased 2% over a six-month period, with values increasing by €175/ac on average in that time frame.

As such, the weighted average price of farmland in Ireland, excluding Dublin, was approximately €8,950/ac at the end of the first quarter in 2021.

The study also provided a breakdown of agricultural land price performance by region for general farmland, depending on where you are in the country.

land price
Source: Sherry Fitzgerald Research

According to the auctioneering firm, the mid-west recorded the greatest increase in prices of any region in quarter one with values rising 3%.

Values in the region have now increased by almost 5% over a 12-month period, it was highlighted.

At 2.8%, the midlands noted the next largest upturn in the quarter, followed by the southeast and the southwest at 1.1% and 0.8% respectively.

At the end of the first quarter of 2021, values remained the highest in the mid-east at approximately €10,700/ac, while values were the lowest in the west at approximately €6,250/ac.

Moving onto land type, Sherry Fitzgerald noted that price growth in the opening three months of 2021 “has been brisk for both good quality tillage and grassland”.

Prime arable values rose by 1.2% to the end of March – which was the strongest growth rate of the three farm types measured in the barometer, and the strongest rate of quarterly growth in prime arable land in six years, the study says.

Of the regions, the midlands saw the largest increase in quarter one at 3.4%.

Meanwhile, prime grassland saw marginally weaker growth in the quarter at 1%, however, growth over a six-month period has been stronger at 2.3%.

Poorer quality or marginal grassland also grew in the first quarter, rising 0.5%. Again, growth was strongest in the midlands, with the average values of prime grassland increasing 3.7% in the first quarter.

At the end of Q1 2021, the weighted average price of prime arable land in Ireland, excluding Dublin, was approximately €10,800/ac.

Prime and marginal grassland was approximately €10,050/ac and €6,000/ac respectively, the review said.