After three years of falling prices and land supply, the farmland market in Offaly took a turn upwards in 2020.

The number of acres offered rose by 26% – and average price increased by a huge 40%.

The number of farms offered for sale was just 18, only half of the 35 offered in 2019.

But larger farm size meant that the total area put up for sale was 1,965ac, up from 1,554ac the year before.

Six of the farms offered were under 40ac, eight were 40ac to 99ac and four were over 100ac.

Seven were residential, 11 non-residential.

Twelve farms were offered by private treaty. Six were offered by public auction and five of these were successfully sold.

Price averaged €9,894/ac, up by 40% on the €7,060/ac of the year before.

Price ranged from €5,806/ac to €18,333/ac. The total value of land sold was €16.7m.

The most active category of buyer was beef, which covers all drystock cattle enterprises. That was the same pattern as seen in recent years.

Beef farmers acquired 42% of the holdings sold.

Dairy farmers were next at 33% followed by the business category which accounted for 17%.

Among the successful auctions was a 102.49ac holding on the very edge of Clara. It was sold in some six lots to different buyers for a total of €1m or €9,757/ac. The county also saw one of the biggest sales in the country in some years in 1,090ac Ballinla Farm, which sold under the hammer for €11m.

One of the holdings sold by private treaty made just over €18,000/ac, another made €11,923/ac and these helped lift the averages price for the county.

Vital statistics

  • *Average: €9,894/ac
  • Acres offered: 1,966
  • Total number of farms: 18
  • Price range: €5,806/ac - €18,333/ac
  • Most active buyers: Beef
    • Weighted average: €9,508/ac
    • *Based on 13 transactions