Data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that there was 37,436ac of agricultural land sold in Ireland in 2018, at a total value of €210.8 million and a median price of €6,444/ac.
This represents an increase of 13.5% in the volume of agricultural land sold compared to 2017, and also accounts for 0.3% of all available agricultural land in Ireland.
The mean (average) value of the land was €5,631/ac, with a mean transaction size of 17.9ac.
Using its Census of Agriculture, the CSO has assigned a land type to the land transacted. These two types are arable land and permanent grassland.
The figures show that, in 2018, arable land accounted for disproportionately more of the value of land sold than it did the volume: This type of land represented 4.62% of the volume of land sold, but 9.16% of the value of land sold.
The median price for arable land was €11,821/ac in 2018, while the median price for permanent grassland was €6,186/ac.
These median prices are higher than in 2017 and 2016 for arable land, but lower for permanent grassland in the same period.
The mid-east region (counties Kildare, Meath, Wicklow and Louth) was the most expensive region to purchase agricultural land in 2018, with a median price per acre of €10,006. Meanwhile, the west region (counties Mayo, Roscommon and Galway) was the least expensive part of the country, with a median price of €4,829/ac.
The table below demonstrates the regional breakdown by median price and year since 2016. Note that Dublin is included for comparison, but because there was only a negligible amount of transactions in the region, the CSO does not include it for wider analysis:
Not only does the mid-east have the highest median price, but it also had the highest mean price at €9,013/ac. The region with the lowest mean price, however, is the border region (counties Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo), where the figure stood at €3,469/ac.
In terms of the number of transactions, the west region had the most in 2018, with 658, while the south-east (counties Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford) had the fewest, at 123.
This is demonstrated in the table below, which also illustrates the marginal number of transactions in the Dublin region:
Volume and value
Looking at the breakdown of volume by region, the CSO statistics show that the west saw the largest volume of land transacted, with 10,416ac, while the south-east had the least, at 2,233ac.
The figures for other regions are as follows:
- Border – 7,500ac approx.;
- Mid-east – 4,500ac approx.;
- Mid-west (counties Clare, Limerick and Tipperary) – 4,400ac approx.;
- Midland (counties Laois, Longford, Offaly and Westmeath) – 4,000ac approx.;
- South-west (counties Kerry and Cork) – 4,400ac approx.
The west also accounted for the highest proportion of the total value of transacted land in 2018, where €44.69 million worth of land was sold. The south-east made up the lowest proportion of the €210.8 million total, accounting for €17.41 million of it.
The proportions for the other regions are below (these are approximate figures and will not add up to exactly €210.8 million):
- Border – €26 million approx.;
- Mid-east – €39 million approx.;
- Mid-west – €26 million approx.;
- Midland – €25 million approx.;
- South-west – €25 million approx.
Type of land
The CSO also outlines that there are discrepancies between arable land and permanent grassland on a regional basis.
In terms of median price, arable land surpassed grassland in all regions in 2018 except the border region, where not enough arable land transactions took place for an accurate median to be calculated.
This meant that a mean price for arable land in that region could also not be calculated. All other regions saw arable land hit a higher mean price than grassland.
In terms of value, the mid-east had the highest value of arable land sold in 2018, with a total value of €10.88 million. The west has the highest value of permanent grassland, with €44.28 million worth of this type of land sold.
For more information on the CSO’s results, click here.