The agricultural land market has delivered an exceptionally strong performance for the first half of the year, the Sherry FitzGerald has reported.

An average price of approximately €9,650 per acre has been paid for farmland outside of Dublin in the first half of this year – a €300 per acre increase on the average price paid in December.

This price increase is the highest that has been recorded by the Sherry FitzGerald Agricultural Land Barometer since the group began analysing farmland price trends in 2013.

Land type

The average price of marginal grassland farms rose by 3.7% to €6,550 per acre, while the 3.2% increase in the price commanded by prime grassland took the average paid to €10,850 per acre for higher-quality offerings.

Prime tillage ground came in slightly behind the increase posted by grass farms, with the average price increase of 3% rounding land of the class to €11,600.

The rate that the price of prime tillage farmland is increasing has slowed somewhat in the second quarter of the year. However, the trend still remains on an upward trajectory, according to the report.

Market confidence

Sherry FitzGerald has reported that these trends indicate a strong confidence among buyers in agricultural land markets.

“So far this year, the agricultural land market has seen strong price growth. Encouragingly, agents across the country have noted a positive sentiment in the market, particularly after several tough years,” commented Philip Guckian of Sherry FitzGerald.

Guckian explained that more landowners are expected to capitalise on these high prices and that supply should increase as a result.

“Low supply levels continue to be an issue, but with the current good prices being achieved, we are hopeful more land and farm owners will be enticed to bring more supply to the market,” he added.

Regional increases

The border counties witnessed the highest proportional increase in land prices across all regions from January to June of this year.

The average price paid for farmland in the border region increased 7.7% from the beginning of the year.

The midlands, mid-west and mid-east posted average price rises of 4.9%, 3.8% and 3.7% respectively in the first half of the year.