WHAT kind of a year will it be for farm sales? Agents and vendors seem to be more confident, with prices nudging up to €12,000, after a difficult 18 months.
Land is near bottom, and there is value to be had, say many of the auctioneers. They reckon that at €10,000 per acre the investment is close to the return, and with the hobby farmers out of the way, the farmer is in the ascendent when it comes to purchasing. The problem of finance remains, and sales that have gone through were funded with 60% of the asking price, if not the entire amount, say auctioneers.
Until NAMA is sorted out, only a low number of transactions are expected. There are green shoots, so auctioneer Tom Kelly, of CCM, is taking a high-quality farm to market at Ballyandreen, Ballycotton, Co Cork. “It’s as good a piece of land as there is in east Cork, and this region has some of the best tillage land in the country; it’s south-facing, free-draining, excellent land,” he says.
The land is in a 31-acre block, half in pasture and the rest in stubble. There could be hobby-farmer interest, he says, at a location minutes from Ballyandreen beach. “Because it’s Ballycotton, you wouldn’t know who’d lift their heads, although planning isn’t straightforward and the price reflects that. It’s guided at around €12,000 per acre,” he says.
The same agent closed a sale at Inch, Whitegate, before Christmas, where the 43 acres made marginally less than €10,000 per acre. But it included 13 acres of forestry.
The joint agent for the lands at Ballyandreen is auctioneer, Michael Hegarty.
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