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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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More hobby farmers viewing land as ‘secure, risk-free’ investment

Agents across Leinster reported a lack of supply and prices up to €14,000/acre for land in 2021 in IPAV’s Farming Report – January 2022.

Firstly, Eamon O’Flaherty FIPAV – Sherry Fitzgerald Brady O’Flaherty, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, witnessed “a lot of interest” in land from non-farmers in 2021.

He said these parties view land as a “secure, risk-free investment”. “

“There is an increased number of hobby farmers entering the market – who can now work remotely, as well as doing a small bit of farming. Brexit has had no effect whatsoever on land prices in 2021,” he commented.

The selling agent reported that he witnessed a reduction of up to 50% in the supply of fresh ground coming to market last year.

For those lands that did come to market in 2021, prices for “good quality” permanent pasture and tillage were in the region of €12,000/acre.

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O’Flaherty believes that the demand for land will be “very strong” this year. As a result, he expects prices to rise by a further 10%.

Leinster land prices 

Meanwhile, John V Farrelly MIPAV – DNG Royal County, Navan Co. Meath, reported a “steady” demand for land in 2022.

He noted “strong interest” north of the county from part-time farmers.

“Average prices achieved for quality farmland was up to €14,000/acre. It is apparent that many buyers are not prepared to leave money in the bank as they see land as a good investment.”

He reports there has been “very little” land available to rent with prices achieving in the region of €250/acre.

Leasing and entitlement uncertainty

Like other agents, Stephen Barry MIPAV – Raymond Potterton Auctioneers, Navan, Co. Meath, confirmed that the availability of land for sale was limited in 2021.

He said: “Large areas of County Meath saw no land sales at all. Prices were in the range of €6,000 for forestry and up to €12,000 for quality grassland and tillage.”

He pointed out that as per the provisional Census results, Meath is one of the top three counties in Ireland for tillage enterprises.

“A combination of leasing and a reluctance to do anything due to entitlement uncertainty has led to a continued reduction in the volume of lands to rent.”

Furthermore, he also believes land values will increase in 2022.

He listed “rapid” inflation, negative interest rates, volatile equity markets and a “favourable” tax regime on the investor front and nitrates/environmental as “key factors on the farming front”.

Holdings over 90ac for dairy farmers

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Leinster, Alan Bracken MIPAV – Sherry Fitzgerald Davitt & Davitt, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, reported that this firm achieved in the region of €9,000/acre for both quality grassland and tillage.

He added that holdings over 90-acres were in “high demand”, mainly due to interest from dairy farmers. Besides, he described demand for lands to rent as “strong” during 2021.

Bracken pointed out that average prices in marginal areas remain at €160-€200/acre, and he expects a further increase in 2022.

Overall, he believes the price of land in 2022, at a minimum, will remain at the same levels of 2021.

“Stocking rates may cause increased demand for more acreage, pending CAP 2023. Oil, gas prices and fertiliser costs have increased significantly.”

“This increase will impact on the income for tillage farmers, and as a result, the, demand may fall in this sector.”

See farms for sale.

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