The large tracts of agricultural land to the north-west of Cork City have been in very high demand for a number of years.
This is an area of top quality soil and intensive farming that has always been the breadbasket of the Republic’s second city. Even in these days of globalised foreign trade, this golden zone has still not lost its importance, or its value per acre.
In the townland of Courtbrack — about 5km north-west of Blarney — a large 130-acre piece of this prime land is being offered for sale by Blarney-based auctioneers Harkin and Associates.
The property is being offered in three possible lots: 103 acres, 27 acres, or the entire holding.
“It’s only about five or six minutes from Blarney,” says selling agent Robert Harkin, “and it’s only about seven or eight minutes from the N20 Cork-Limerick road. It’s in a great location access-wise.”
The farm is a non-residential one. The original farmhouse, yard, and buildings are being retained by the current owner, who is retiring from the dairying business and moving into dry cattle.
“It’s great land,” says Robert. “It’s gently sloping with a westerly aspect and it’s drained naturally by the Fiddler’s Brook Stream, which is a tributary of the Shournagh River. So it’s good dry land.”
In all likelihood, the next owner will be a farmer with a dairying enterprise. This is still the cash business that’s showing the growth and where the demand for land is still steady. That said, the property will be well suited to tillage or any other farming enterprise.
According to the selling agents, there have already been strong levels of interest even though it has only just been advertised. It’s not surprising given the combination of quality and rarity involved.
The ample roadside access to the farm means that it lends itself very well to being split into parts and/or allowing subsequent owners plenty of options for selling on or leasing out. On top of that, ease of access is everything to the progressive farmer. Normal logic would dictate that the farm will be more likely to go in lots but the rare opportunity of finding such a large and accessible piece of prime agricultural land may push a potential buyer into purchasing the entire holding in one go.
Lot 1 consists of 103 acres on the Courtbrack-Grenagh road. It has road frontage on its eastern boundary and is laid out in five fields, all in pasture.
Lot 2 is the remaining 27 acres and is located 800 metres from Lot 1, across the road from it. This holding has extensive road frontage on its northern and western boundaries. It’s all in one field of pasture and is western facing. According to the selling agent, it could be of interest to an expanding farmer or even someone to do smaller-scale or hobby farming with a view to getting planning permission for a home.
Courtbrack itself is a small settlement but, like a number of smaller villages in the area, it has seen a considerable rise in residential numbers over recent years. As the search for “satellite” accommodation to Cork continues, all of this applies gentle pressure on farm land prices and the price expectation in this area is always at the higher end of the scale.
In this case, the guide is in the region of €13,000 - €15,000 per acre. Given the levels of caution that have crept into the agricultural land market in recent months, a gambling man might bet the final price nearer to €13,000.
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