Report: How much did land values fall by in the first half of 2020?

Agricultural land values across Ireland have seen a 1.1% drop in value across the first half of 2020 according to the Irish Agricultural Land Market Review by Sherry Fitzgerald.

According to the report, quarter two of this year was the first full quarter impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak and the national lockdown that followed.

The report also stated that at this point the lockdown does not appear to have had a substantial impact on land values.

Price reductions in the land market were modest and compare directly with 2019, where values reduced 1% in the first half of the year, according to the review.

In terms of different farm types, there was little change in prime grassland values in the first six months of the year. Grassland values reduced by a marginal 0.3%.

Comparatively, prime arable and marginal grassland farm types saw larger falls, but still at relatively modest levels of 1.7% and 1.5% respectively.

At the end of June, the weighted average price of prime arable land in Ireland, excluding Dublin, was approximately €10,600/ac, and €9,900/ac of prime grassland.

In terms of regional price performance, the border region, consisting of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo saw the largest reduction in prices in the year to date at 3.4%.

More moderate decreases of 1.7%, 1% and 0.9% were recorded in the mid-east, midlands,
and south-west, respectively.

This can be seen on this info-graphic (below).

Image source: Sherry Fitzgerald Research

Transactions continued to take place however overall activity levels were hampered by the national lockdown of the country.

Rate of decline

In the twelve months to the end of June 2020, prices fell 3.6%. Prices in the Sherry FitzGerald Agricultural Land Barometer have now decreased for five consecutive quarters for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2016.

However, the overall rate of decline is small and has eased since the start of this year.

While there has been some fluctuation in growth, both up and down, for much of the past decade, values have remained relatively steady which can be seen below.

Image source: Sherry Fitzgerald Research

Since 2014, the weighted average price per acre for land in Ireland excluding Dublin, has remained within a €400 range.

At the end of the second quarter of 2020, the weighted price per acre stood at €8,800.