Carrauntoohill farm sells for €5,600/acre

Farmland is continuing to sell at auction, albeit with some mixed fortunes.

After some spectacular results over the last few months, the trend continued in a positive (if less than record-breaking) fashion with some recent public auctions in Limerick and Kerry.

GVM Auctioneers sold a 48-acre residential holding at auction last week. As with their successful auctions in May, this public sale was carried out in GVM’s auction rooms in Limerick City, last Thursday.

The lands in question are situated in the townland of Ballysteen and Ballyaglish, near Askeaton, Co Limerick.

According to auctioneer Tom Crosse, there was a strong turnout on the day, with plenty of local interest in the holding that was presented in three individual lots. Lot 1, located in Ballyaglish, was described by the agents as containing good quality land, with a “fine bungalow residence and quality out-offices.”

Bidding opened on the first lot at €250,000. The offers came in regularly until Mr Crosse announced that the lot was on the market, when it reached €325,000. Another three bids followed, until the price of €340,000 (€10,600/acre) was reached, at which point the gavel came down.

According to Tom, this 32-acre lot was contested by two local farmer bidders.

The following two lots made up a combined acreage of 17 acres. Lot 2 was a 12-acre portion of grazing land; Lot 3 was a four-acre field. According to the agents, this latter portion was “top-class land with a spectacular view of the Shannon” that “may have site potential”.

These lots went quickly, selling for a combined value of €90,000 (€5,300/acre). There were no ancillary buildings on these portions of the property, according to the agents.

Overall, it represents a figure of €430,000 (€9,000/acre) in total and one which, the auctioneer feels, reflects the overall value of the land.

Describing the sale as “very satisfactory”, Tom Crosse added that it underpinned “the demand for good-quality land in Co Limerick”.

Over the border in Kerry, meanwhile, another public auction took place the week before at the Royal Hotel in Killarney.

Presiding over the bidding on Friday, July 15, was Killarney auctioneer Tom Spillane. The property in question was featured in these pages in June, and consisted of a 99-acre holding of mixed quality — including some very good grazing, according to the agents. In the townland of Lisleibane near Beaufort, and between the two carparks that mark the starting point for those ascending Carrauntoohill, the holding is in a highly attractive setting, featuring panoramic views.

The farm was a difficult one to put a figure on. On the one hand, it was a property of mixed quality in a quite elevated setting. On the other hand, it had such a number of unique and rare features about it, it was always liable to exceed expectations.

The guide price was cagily put at “in excess of €250,000”. In other words, more than €2,500 per acre.

“There was a strong turnout on the day,” says Tom. “Bidding began at €200,000 and from there it moved in twenty-thousand units very swiftly on to €400,000.”

Four bidders had been involved up to this point, and a recess was called for Tom to take instruction from the vendor. When the bidding recommenced, the auctioneer confirmed that the property was on market.

Thereafter, the bidding moved on quickly, restarting in increments of €10,000, before thinning out to €5,000 steps and finally edging onwards in €1,000 increments until the hammer finally came down on a very satisfactory (for both vendor and purchaser, one would think) figure of €530,000 (€5,600/acre) – certainly well in excess of €250,000. According to Tom, the purchaser was a “local mid-Kerry businessman”.


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