The rural landscape around Macroom marks what many would consider to be the boundary of West Cork. And once you arrive in this vibrant market town, there is no doubting that you have arrived in “a place apart”, as the tourist brochures define it.
The business of agriculture is less concerned with such descriptive eulogies, and more so with the quality of land and the availability of it. In recent years, there have been some strong prices set here for farmland.
To the east of where the land begins to get stonier, the combination of quality of soil and good access from Cork city (via the N22) makes it a much sought-after place for those seeking tracts of good quality land.
Currently, a 37-acre holding just west of Macroom is beginning to attract attention both locally and from abroad, according to the selling agents, Heffernan Estates.
The residential holding is an executor’s sale located in the townland of Coolavookig, approximately 8km west of Macroom, close to the village of Kilnamartyra, famous for its toy soldier factory and visitor centre.
“The land here is in good heart,” says selling agent Tom Heffernan.
There is good access from the N22 which is just a few hundred metres to the north of the holding, with the Kilnymartyra road running along its eastern flanks. To the south, the River Sullane provides excellent drainage.
In the near future, the N22 will be brought even closer to the farm, when the new Macroom by-pass is built, affording even better access to this holding. The property would most likely suit somebody in search of additional acreage, and could be used as an outside farm.
There is an old house, and a collection of outbuildings going with the holding, which may be used by the next owner or simply sold on.
The house is in need of refurbishment, according to the selling agents, but it is structurally sound, and its proximity to Macroom makes it a strong option for either renting out or even selling off, should the next owner so wish.
“There’s a good internal farm road,” says Tom. “All the internal paddocks are fenced off, and there’s an internal water system on the farm as well.”
The property is also of a size to be suitable for use as a hobby farm, and that is where the other main category of buyer is likely to emerge from. According to the agents, there have already been a number of enquiries from the UK from people specifically looking for a small or medium-sized holding that can be used to such ends.
“There’s a lot of local interest,” confirms Tom, “and I’d have a few enquiries from the UK as well from people looking to become hobby farmers. It’s a very viable second parcel of ground to have and it would be suitable as an addition to any farm.
“The house was occupied up to last year by an elderly gentleman,” says Tom. “But it is in need of total renovation at this point. Structurally, it’s sound, however, and it’s a fine farmhouse with plenty of charm.
“It needs modernising and improving, essentially.”
The collection of outbuildings will similarly be of some use to the next owner, but they too are dated and in need of refurbishment.
“They were great outbuildings in their day, but by modern standards, they would be very dated, functional but dated.”
The guide price is, according to the agents, “around €7,000 an acre.”
“It’s a realistic priced guide, we’ll just see how it goes.”
Given the way that land prices have gone around here in recent years, this is a figure that should be easily achieved.
This isn’t a top-drawer land parcel, but it is a very good one in a strong area, and at this level, and with the wide variety of parties that it will attract, there should be no shortage of bidders over the coming weeks and months.