The land market was steady in Down last year, with the average price almost unchanged at £11,246/ac. This represents a decline of 1.1%, or £120/ac, on the 2019 average of £11,366/ac.

Down remains the second most expensive county in NI for agricultural land.

It ranks eighth across the whole island, which is down from fourth position in the 2019 land report.

There were 2,719 acres of land publicly advertised for sale in the Mourne County last year. Down was only one of two counties in NI to see an increased area offered up for sale in 2020, with last year’s total 16% higher than 2019 levels.

However, the land area on the market in Down during 2020 still only equates to 0.69% of the county’s total arable and grassland area.

Overall, there were 88 separate pieces of land publicly for sale in Down last year, with the average lot standing at 31 acres. This compares to 80 lots averaging 29 acres the year before.

The top price in our survey was over £20,000/ac for a 10ac block of land in the southeast of the county. A similar-sized lot in south Down made one of the other highest prices in the county at £18,700/ac.

The lowest priced lot was a farm extending to almost 40 acres which sold for £5,500/ac.

The farm was not made up of poor-quality land, but it was only accessible via a shared laneway and this led to reduced demand for the property.

Two-fifths of land sales recorded in Down fell within the £9,000/ac to £12,000/ac bracket. Just over one-quarter of transactions equated to more than £12,000/ac and 31% of sales in Down were between £6,000/ac and £9,000/ac.

Vital statistics

  • Average price*: £11,246/ac (€12,640/ac)
  • Price range*: £5,500/ac to £20,661/ac
  • Total area offered up: 2,720ac
  • Number of farms offered: 88
  • Average lot size: 31ac
  • Biggest farm offered: 148ac
  • *Based on 39 transactions