Public auctions are continuing to produce impressive results in the Premier County, as evidenced by two auctions of farmland in South Tipperary over the last fortnight.

On June 17, Hayes Hotel in Thurles was the setting for a trend-setting auction of a 26-acre residential holding in the townland of Cloneyross, Ballycahill. 

The farm — featured in these pages on June 2 — was offered in two lots: Lot 1 comprised the house, outbuildings, and 9.64 acres, while Lot 2 included 16 acres of grasslands with considerable road frontage. 

The entire holding was also offered as Lot 3. In the event, the greater appetite proved to be for the individual lots.

“Each lot attracted considerable interest early in the proceedings, with the bidding on the individual lots eventually surpassing the bidding on the entire,” said auctioneer Thomas V Ryan.

Lot 1 achieved a price of €195,000 while Lot 2 sold for €145,000. This made for a total sale price of €340,000; some €85,000 more than the AMV of €255,000.

The agents reported strong interest leading up to the auction: “Demand for agricultural land and rural housing is quite robust at present,” they said, describing the Cloneyross property as “a gem and impeccably maintained”.

Another auction last Friday — at Anner Hotel, Thurles — proved that there is still appetite for larger residential holdings sold as one lot.

In this case, it was a 65-acre farm just 1km from Thurles. The property was featured in last week’s pages and was described by selling agents Herlihy Auctioneers as “an outstanding model grass farm”.

The price guide was set at “offers in excess of €650,000” – a figure that would reflect recent prices in and around the €10,000/acre mark.

The farm was previously a dairying operation and retains much of the original infrastructure, although it has been used for some time for cattle fattening. 

The property also enjoyed plenty of road frontage and a large traditional farmhouse in “excellent” condition.

The combination of quality of land, buildings, accommodation, and access meant interest in this holding was never going to be confined to the locality; the agents noted a wide geographical spread in pre-auction inquiries.

Anticipation had clearly been building and there was a strong turnout on the day, with about “40 or 50 people” present, according to auctioneer Gerry Curtis.

There were four or five bidders in all, according to the agent, including local interest, a solicitor from Kildare and a bidder from Kilkenny.

“The bidding started at €500,000,” says Gerry. “Then the bidding went up in 50s and 10s.” 

There were a staggering 53 bids on the property. It started in increments of 50s, before they were reduced to five-thousand units, then up to ten-thousand units and back again to fives. 

This trend continued right until the end when the penultimate bid of €855,000 was trumped by an increment of €2,000, bringing the final sale price to €857,000 (€13,200/acre). 

According to Gerry, the successful purchaser was a local farmer.

The auctioneers were very pleased with the result; the strong turnout of bidders producing a price that certainly bucks current national trends. 

Taking the results of the last three public auctions of agricultural land in South Tipperary over May and June, the per-acre price has increased from €9,000 per acre to €13,000.

An isolated snapshot it may be, but one which is still part of a bigger picture.


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