In what is likely to be one of the biggest farm sales of the year, Harty & Co Auctioneers in Dungarvan, Co Waterford are beginning the New Year with the announcement of the public auction in March of a 220-acre prime residential farm.
Located in the townland of Faha, close to the village of Kilmacthomas (3km away) in the east of the county, the holding is described by the selling agents as a “prime roadside” property which is just under one kilometre from the main Cork-Waterford road the N25.
The farm is all in permanent pasture and has extensive road frontage onto two public roads. The roads naturally divide the property into four lots, which is how the farm is likely to be presented on the auction date — Wednesday the 6th of March 2019 at The Park Hotel in Dungarvan.
“The farm is currently all in grass,” says selling agent Margaret Harty, who points out that the farm is very accessible with its proximity to the main road and is just a ten-minute drive from Waterford City. “It has been very well farmed.”
This is an executor sale but the farm is currently under lease and any interested parties need to note that 178 acres of it are leased until the 31st of December 2024, while a further 23 acres of the land is under lease until the end of this year.
“There are a couple of neighbouring dairy farmers and beef-and-sheep farmers who have it rented,” says Margaret, “but it is very well farmed. It was previously a beef and sheep farm. It has also been used for tillage as well — beef and cereals — so it’s a property that can be put to a number of different uses.”
The farm was a well-known beef and sheep operation with a large and well-respected operation of over 300 head of sheep. Having encountered poor health, the owner then decided to let the land out on long-term leases — hence the commitment of the next owner to the ongoing leasing arrangements.
This will not necessarily put prospective buyers off this rare and large farm. According to Margaret, it is a very sound investment that is generating a substantial rental income as things stand.
The access to the farm is very good and it enjoys a great deal of public road frontage, with a major national primary route (the aforementioned N25) passing just beyond its northern boundary. This is also the point where the highly successful Waterford Greenway cycling route intersects with the national road.
The farm also has a historic country residence — it is in need of refurbishment works, but it is habitable and is a cultural gem in its own right. It includes three bedrooms, two reception rooms, a kitchen and hall. Outside, there is a walled garden and a collection of attractive stone buildings gathered around the original yard. In addition, there are various other outbuildings at different levels of quality. These include a six-span hay shed, two walled silage pits, a slatted house and a purpose-built sheep shed.
The quality of the land here is very good. This is a large well-maintained farm with lots of different aspects to offer. The rarity of its size and convenience of its location may well end up putting a premium on its final price under the hammer. As things stand, Munster agricultural land prices are very strong and some local farms have sold very well. A 57-acre farm near the coast at Garranbane (featured on these pages last July) sold in the latter half of the year for a price well in excess of its guide of just over €12,000/acre. It would be logical to assume, therefore, that the current conservative guide price of between €10,000 and €12,000 per acre is likely to be exceeded on the day.