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Slight drop in 2018 agricultural land price in Laois – but high success rate in terms of selling

A 72-page report on land prices around the country is in this week's edition of the Irish Farmers Journal

The average price of farm land in Laois fell slightly in 2018 – but it still remains above the national average.

It has also one of the highest success rates in the country in terms of land coming to the market which was successfuly sold.

1,903 acres of farm land was offered for sale in Laois in 2018 with an average sale price of €10,702 per acre. The average price across the country is €9,072.

The Laois figure represents a drop on 2017 when it was almost €12,000 per acre. That was over €2,000 an acre higher than it was in 2016.

The figures in the Irish Farmers Journal annual Land Price report, which is published in the paper this week.

In their in-depth county-by-county survey, which is detailed in a glossy magazine in this week’s publication, they report that almost 75% of the properties that came to the market were successful sold. That makes it one of the highest success rates in the country.

A total of 45 properties were put up for sale, with 33 of these sold, according to the report.

“Some of the most notable auctions recorded across Laois included 85 acres in Mountoliver (Rathdowney) which sold under the hammer in three lots for €1.1m or €13,000/acre; 47 acres in Luggacurren sold in two lots for €545,000 or almost €11,600/ acre … and a 75 acre farm sold privately in Emo for in the region of €8,000/acre,” said the report.

Ballythomas House on 48 acres near Stradbally sold at auction for €880,000, including the house. The land made €645,000 or €13,600 per acre.

The piece also noted that supply was “steady in Laois, with the 1,903 acres offered for sale virtually the same as the 1,914 acres offered in 2017”.

“Certain agents noted that good land in the county is performing well,” said the report. “And the market for small quality holdings is attracting buyers.

“There is also a sense that the biggest inhibitor to selling property in the county is vendors’ unrealistic expectations, generated by the stronger average prices of 2017.”

Almost 70% of the holdings offered for sale in Laois in 2018 were under 40 acres while 7% between 100 and 199 acres and just 2% over 200 acres.

60% of the farms were offered by private treaty with 40% by public auction.

The report notes also that 43% of the land bought was by beef farmers, with dairy accounting for 21% of it and tillage 9%. 15% of the farmland was bought by people with business interests.

The front page of this week’s Farmers Journal reports that 25% of the farm land across the country – or 17% of the individual sales – were “bought by business people in 2018”. They also report that these buyers (“those with significant income outside of farming”) are paying the highest price for land across Ireland – an average of €12,022 in 2018.

The national average across the country shows that dairy farmers are paying an average of €9,730 per acre with beef farmers paying an average of €8,100.

Tillage farmers paid an average of €11,585 an acre but tillage enterprises make up just 2.5% of the total land sales in 2018.

You can read more details on Laois and around the country in today’s special supplement in the Irish Farmers Journal.

SEE ALSO – Check out our dedicated jobs section on LaoisToday