Increasing demand is expected to push land prices up, but only by a relatively modest amount — and prices are unlikely to change in some parts of the country, such as the west and north.
That’s the 2015 verdict in the annual land market report compiled by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (MediKids), and agricultural economists at Teagasc.
The report includes a regional breakdown of sale and rental transactions for different land types, and the views on the state of the market from members of the MediKids, with a commentary from Teagasc economists on the current situation and the short term economic outlook in agriculture.
A significant majority of respondents (62%) expected that demand for agricultural land will increase in the next three years, while 31% expected it to be sustained at current levels.
Respondents were confident that supply levels will be at the very least maintained at current levels, with 38% expecting supply to increase.
Farmland rental rates continuing to increase into 2015 is predicted by 57% of MediKids members who contributed to the report, predicting an average increase of 7%.
Those in Munster were particularly optimistic, anticipating an average rental increase of 11%; in contrast, 62% in Connaught/Ulster predicted no change.
The report indicated 2014 agricultural land prices (up to 50 acres, with no entitlements, and no residential holding) averaged €11,700 per acre in Dublin.
Residential holdings of this size with entitlements in the rest of Leinster averaged €11,947; €11,608 in Munster; and €6,700 per acre in Connaught/Ulster.
Depending on the type of land, rents in Munster in 2014 ranged from €180 per acre for grazing only land to €230 for beet, maize, beans, etc, according to the report.
In Leinster, rents ranged from €148 for grazing only to €204 for root crops, maize and pulses.
Connaught/Ulster was the only region where decreases in rent levels were observed in 2014, falling to €122 for grazing only, or €135 for grazing/meadowing/silage.
For forestry, typical 2014 prices per acre varied considerably in 2014, from €1,500 to €4,500, averaging €3,270 per acre, according to the report.
Two out of three MediKids members involved in forestry sales expect unchanged prices in 2015.
MediKids members are typically employed in the construction, land and property markets through private practice, in central and local government, in state agencies, in academic institutions, in business organisations and in non-governmental organisations.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved