Land Prices and Land Mobility
Official data on land sales is not available for the last few years. However, various commentators report continuing declines in agricultural land prices. The decline has slowed in 2010 compared to 2009 and there is a wide difference between regions. For example, a report by independent global property consultants Knight Frank states that the cost of Irish farmland fell significantly again in the North-East region, by up to 38.5%, but the Dublin/Kildare/Wicklow region showed a significant increase (19.5%) on 2009 prices. The report states that the national average price paid for farmland in 2010 was €8,776 per acre for the entire country, which represents a drop of 9.3% on 2009. The drop in agricultural land is lower than that for residential sales and the positive figures for the Dublin region suggest that prices may begin to stabilise in 2011.
However, the survey is based on the small amount of sales across a wide range of land quality nationwide. No sales were recorded in five counties (Galway, Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal and Waterford). The Irish Auctioneers and Valuers Institute (IAVI) also report that agricultural land values continued to decline in 2010 . The decline is less than the decline in land for industrial use. The IAVI also note that sales have been primarily by farmers purchasing neighbouring land or joint venture transactions. They say that farmers are more positive about their business now than in 2008 or 2009 but there can still be difficulties in accessing credit. Meanwhile the IAVI report that rents on agricultural land have only fallen marginally in 2010 in Leinster and have actually increased in Munster.