Land supply fell sharply in Waterford and average price paid jumped 55% – that’s the short summary of the land market there in 2020.

The number of farms offered for sale was just 18 – well down from the previous year’s 91.

The total area was 1,617ac, well under half of the 4,181ac of 2019. Unusually, compared to most other counties, most of the farms for sale were over 40ac. Only four were under 40ac, nine were from 40ac to 99ac and five were over 100ac. Ten were residential – that’s over half – and the other eight non-residential.

A large majority (16) of the 18 farms put on the market were offered by private treaty. Just two were offered by auction – and neither of them sold. In all, just six of the 18 farms offered were successfully sold by year end.

Average price was €16,367/ac, a huge increase from the €10,962/ac average of the year before.

Price ranged from €12,821/ac to €24,643/ac. There was a large price gap between the larger and smaller farms.

Average sale price for under 40ac was €18,732/ac while for the larger ones it was €15,185/ac. The total value of the land sold was €9.7m.

As in the previous year, the largest category of buyer was the dairy farmer.

They even pushed aside the investor and hobby farmer buyers. However, beef and mixed-enterprise farmers were also active buyers.

The most high-profile land sale in the county was the 400ac Mount Congreve at Kilmeaden.

The farm and its dairy herd was sold in an off-market deal to businessman Eddie Walsh and his family.

They have indicated that they intend to continue running the dairy herd.

The 90ac residential farm at Ballyknock, near Youghal, with good-quality grassland, had an asking price of €13,500/ac.

It was sold by private treaty with the sale price reported locally to have been in excess of the asking price.

Vital statistics

  • *Average: €16,367/ac
  • Acres offered: 1,617
  • Total number of farms: 18
  • Price range: €12,821/ac - €24,643/ac
  • Most active buyers: Dairy
  • Weighted average: €15,161/ac
  • *Based on 6 transactions