Lee Valley’s top quality land sales achieve best prices of year to date

Is it the land or the location?
Lee Valley’s top quality land sales achieve best prices of year to date

A cluster of five land sales centred on Coachford/ Dripsey in Co Cork has seen some of the headline results in land sales this year — but it has also returned more prosaic results too for marginal land.

One way or the other, the location is defying neat assessments of good land making money and bad land lingering, as all types of ground in the area sell promptly and fairly well since the beginning of the year.

And this week comes news that two further farms are sale agreed, following on the astonishing, €17,000 per acre achieved by a 35-acre farm at Clonteadmore, Coachford, sold by private treaty through Daniel Lehane in early March.

Dairy farm sells

The latest results involve, firstly, a modern dairy operation at Rocklodge, Coolacullig, Coachford, which is on the market with joint agents, Tom Heffernan of Sherry FitzGerald Hinchion and Mike Brady of The Brady Group.

This 92.5 acre farm, which includes 73,867 gallons of quota, is believed to have made €1.1m, just slightly shy of its €1.2m guide.

Located on the Peake side of Coachford the holding was the first of the group to go on the market last winter.

And according to Tom Heffernan, the Coolacullig property is now sale agreed with a single vendor, although it is divided in two blocks and had been touted as available in a number of lots.

And while the sale is sub rosa at the moment, and the agreement to purchase is through a solicitor in trust, it’s believed a local farmer is paying close to €12,000 per acre for the dairy farm.

A modern facility, it includes good sheds and a milking parlour, but the residence was excluded from the sale. Road frontage is also good and the farm produces an SFP of approximately €11,810 a year. All paddocks are within grazing distance of the yard via well finished, internal roadways, so it’s an easy farm to manage, according to joint agent, Mike Brady.

The size and quality of the operation is probably what attracted the interest and subsequently, the buyers, but because there was such a range of properties on offer in the immediate area, final decisions took a while.

Lake and land

And Tom Heffernan has also agreed a sale on a 67-acre farm at Inchilea, Coachford, which had a guide price of €400,000 but which is believed to have been sale agreed at €490,000 — around €7,313 per acre. While less than 40 acres of the ground was under grass, (the remainder is rocky and includes a seven-acre lake in a picturesque setting), the quality of the land was highly regarded locally, Tom Heffernan says, and it’s the reason why it has sold so well, and so fast. The property went on the market at the end of January and despite the poor spring, the demand seems to be very strong for land of all sorts in the area.

“It’s a lovely fattening farm with loads of road frontage — a good, cosy farm with a great reputation locally,” says Mr Heffernan.

The sale included a simple, two-bed bungalow.

Bidding strong

And one of the most outstanding grassland holdings of the current Coachford-Dripsey crop is said to be close to reaching a total of €1m at the moment for 74 acres of pasture land in the Lee Valley. Part of the historic Dripsey Castle estate, the property, which is being sold by the O’Shaughnessy family (who founded Dripsey Woollen Mills), is garnering muscular bidding which should conclude shortly.

The sale is at an advanced stage, says Joe McCarthy, who adds that he expects to conclude the sale of the property shortly, but wouldn’t divulge bidders’ identities or price.

However, it has exceeded its guide price and the expectation is that the land will exceed the million euro mark as part of a final deal.

And finally...

The final property of the five offered locally is a relatively small parcel at Carrigathou, Coachford, also with Joe McCarthy. It is garnering strong interest too and is likely to sell, now that all of the other dominoes have fallen.

Just 2.5 miles from Coachford, the land is described as good quality arable land which unlike all the rest, is currently used for tillage, but would also make good pasture land, the agent says.

In one block and laid out in good-sized fields, it has a guide price of €11,000 per acre and has good road frontage in a handy location.

It will be Interesting to add up the final tally of Coachford land sales, which are as good an indication as any of the strength of the property market in Co Cork, notably in the strong dairying areas.

A local bubble or a good representation of a national trend? In terms of the national average this is one area where Cork is streets ahead in value and demand.

A regional bubble then.

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