For sale jointly with Paul Stack of Abbeyfeale-based Sherry Fitzgerald Stack and Tom Dillon of Listowel-based Dillon-Prendiville Auctioneers, a superb 97-acre grass holding at Shanaway near the village of Tarbert, Co Kerry has recently come on the market, and has not been long in causing something of a stir.
As Mr Stack says, in this powerful agricultural area of north Kerry, it is rare that such a large piece of quality land makes its way on to the market and, when it does, there are always a number of clients lying in wait.
“There’s a good level of interest,” he says.
“There’s interest locally and from beyond the general area. It’s a nice holding, a decent-sized holding, and it’s of very good quality. It’s just one of those pockets of land that are of a rare quality.
“Farm holdings would have been, historically speaking, fragmented over the years.
“In more recent years, you’ve had a lot of farms amalgamated and joined up, so it’s very hard to put land holdings together, and people can spend a lifetime trying to do so. Sometimes it’s a multi-generational phenomenon, trying to get a land holding, and trying to grow a land holding.
“For a variety of reasons, maybe funds don’t allow or maybe the next generation may not have the appetite to stay farming, or whatever else, that kind of thing happens. So, when this comes up and you get a block of land like this, it’s always of interest to people, when it’s of sufficient quality.
“The public road, which runs down into the village and the N69, is at the western end of the property, and then you’ve got a central passageway that makes its way from west to east.”
“It’s located only a few kilometres from the Shannon Estuary,” says Paul. “It’s in a nice elevated position, so it has views from the back of the land up over Tarbert village and across the estuary to the Clare coastline.”
The aesthetics are strong, but the main point of interest is the quality of the land itself, he says: “The land is top-class grass land. It’s free draining and it’s sloping gradually upwards and away from the central passageway that serves the property. It’s undulating land with excellent drainage.”
This is a residential property, and the house going with the holding is substantial. Depending, of course, on what client eventually purchases the farm, this could be an important asset.
“There is quite an impressive property on the land, and it might be suitable for refurbishment but it’s currently vacant. It has been for a number of years, but it might be suitable as such a project for somebody. There isn’t a farmyard per se there. The lands are well-proportioned. There are nice-sized fields and with that central passageway, you have great access to the divisions. It accesses pretty much all areas.”
With the combination of road access, the size of the overall package. and the fact that it has a dwelling house on site, it might read on paper like a property that would lend itself to sub-division and possibly auction. However, this isn’t being considered, at present, at least, and the geographical layout of the farm might not be conducive to such an approach.
“We’re selling it by private treaty to begin with, in any event. We will see how the demand develops, and see if the level of demand dictates otherwise. We might consider it, but I would say it will remain as being sold by private treaty,” says Mr Stack.
The guide price is €1,100,000, or €11,300 per acre. This is above the average for grassland, but for pasture of the highest quality, it’s a reasonable expectation. The rarity and size will prove to be strong elements in defining a strong price for this farm.
The other factor that always plays a part in land sales in this part of the world is the influence of Kerry Co-op, now more than ever after almost 1,500 applications for the first phase of the Co-op’s share redemption scheme at €619, which has the potential to create many new millionaire shareholders.