There’s been an 11% drop in the amount of money that was spent last year buying farmland on 2014 levels, the Ganly Walters Farm Market Survey for 2015 has found.
It estimates that more than €157m was spent buying more than 15,200ac of farmland last year.
This is an 11% drop from 2014 levels when it estimated that more than €177m was paid for 16,800ac.
However, the survey found that the average price for farmland nationwide in 2015 remained relatively constant at €10,336/ac, a decrease of only 1.8% from an average price of €10,526/ac in 2014.
The highest price achieved per acre during 2015 was for farms of 200ac or more with strong demand generating an average price of €12,630/ac.
This regional approach treats the commuter counties of Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow (DKW) as one region which is the market leader.
In the DKW, average prices per acre of farmland dropped again in 2015, down 9.4% after a 2.5% fall in 2014, Ganly Walters found.
That is still 16.7% above the 2009 trough of €10,920 but 58% below the region’s peak of €30,543 seen in 2007, according to the survey.
Looking at the provinces, during 2015 there is very little to distinguish the average prices of farmland between Leinster and Munster, but a significantly higher number of properties were sold in Leinster than Munster.
Leinster saw the most activity in 2015 with more than 22,500ac brought to the market in 310 lots and over 9,153ac sold in 135 transactions.
The average price paid per acre in the province was €10,603, compared with €11,102/ac in 2014.
In Munster over 153 lots with 12,700ac were brought to the market and 43 deals were done for 3,231ac.
The average price paid for farmland in this region in 2015 was €10,122/ac, compared to €10,713/ac in 2014.
In Connacht over 5,100ac were on offer in 74 lots, of which 1,530ac sold in 27 deals. The average price in 2015 was €5,813.
Looking at the west and northwest including counties Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Galway and Clare, farmland prices averaged €5,942/ac, down 10.3% on the €6,622/ac in 2014.
Ulster (Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal)
The three Ulster counties of Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal saw an average price for 2015 of €5,668/ac, achieved from 15 properties comprising 780ac and 5 transactions comprising more than 200ac.