Farm sales

Connacht / Ulster agricultural sales 2021: forestry leads to good prices for poor soil

The Connacht Ulster land market is somewhat different from the rest of the country. The private treaty model is the preferred route, with many small plots changing hands locally.

nonetheless, the experience of auctions in border counties and the west for 2021 mirrors what has happened in other regions.

Eight auctions were recorded in the national press, ceding 432 acres of land, a 61% increase from last year. The amount of money generated at 3.62 million euros is up 49pc.

The average price per acre was down 7%, but the 2020 figure had been skewed by the sale of a large farm scattered around Donegal that was worth € 36,000 / acre.

A fairer comparison is with 2019 and 2018, and the 2021 average is 25% higher than those years.

Three of the sales crossed the € 10,000 / ac mark, with a 13 acre parcel at Aghmagree, Co Roscommon making € 20,374 / ac under the hammer of Ivan Connaughton.

The property to make the most money was an 80 acre scattered farm in Carrowmacbrien, Rathlee, Easkey, Co Sligo. He made a total of € 892,000 when sold in 13 lots by Karl Fox.

Close


One of 13 lots that made up an 80-acre farm in Easkey, Co. Sligo that grossed € 892,000 or an average of € 11,000 / ac

One of 13 lots that made up an 80-acre farm in Easkey, Co. Sligo that grossed € 892,000 or an average of € 11,000 / ac

The largest land property to change hands at auction was sold by Sligo auctioneer Roger McCarrick.

Property 108ac has been developed over three separate farms around Ballinacarrow and Collooney.

It was bought by young local farmers for € 632,000 or € 5,900 / ac.

In Donegal, Robert Gourley managed the sale of a lovely 30 acre coastal property in Drumree, Linsfort on the Inishowen Peninsula. The operation made 260,000 € and was bought by a local man living in Australia who auctioned off online.

Close

A 30 acre plot of land with communal access in Drumree, Linsfort Donegal fetched € 260,000 or € 8,700 / ac at auction


A 30 acre plot of land with communal access in Drumree, Linsfort Donegal fetched € 260,000 or € 8,700 / ac at auction

A 30 acre plot of land with communal access in Drumree, Linsfort Donegal fetched € 260,000 or € 8,700 / ac at auction

Mr McCarrick said he had had a great year and, if anything, had a shortage of land,

“Everything that came into the market sold out,” he said. “There were high prices for poor quality soil and this was due to forestry. Coillte is seeking land for hardwoods and native forests, while other investors are seeking land for softwoods.

Close

This 69-acre residential farm in Carolina, Cootehill, Co Cavan grossed € 490,000 or € 7,000 / acre when sold by auctioneers to Raymond Potterton


This 69-acre residential farm in Carolina, Cootehill, Co Cavan grossed € 490,000 or € 7,000 / acre when sold by auctioneers to Raymond Potterton

This 69-acre residential farm in Carolina, Cootehill, Co Cavan grossed € 490,000 or € 7,000 / acre when sold by auctioneers to Raymond Potterton

“I sell a lot of standing plantations, and these bring in between 2,500 and 3,500 € / ac.. This is driven by investors looking for carbon credits. “

He added that research into carbon offsets and sequestration will have a significant impact on the forest sector.

Ivan Connaughton described 2021 as “an exceptional year”.

“The online auctions were working really well and whatever we had we were selling. The majority of what we sold was between 10 and 40 acres and it was making a lot of money, ”he said, adding that many small pieces are being picked up by dairy farmers.

“These small packages sell for a good price. A 13 acre parcel at Kilkerrin brought in € 155,000, or nearly € 12,000 / acre, ”he said.

The market is busy I have quite a few small pieces ready to sell and a lot of land to rent. “

Karl Renard

described the market as odd as investors and other buyers across the country are buying smaller holdings in Mayo.

“A small piece of land that we are closing right now is bought by a man from Wexford. I suspect a lot of the land will end up in forestry, ”he said.

He added that very good land in Mayo brings in 8,000 € / ac, good land 6,000 € / ac, mediocre land 4,000 € / ac and peatland 1,000 € / ac.

“There is also a market for common land, which earns almost as much as peatlands,” he said.

Colm Farrell de Gort said, “There was a good exchange of land, with the farmer on each side being the main customer.

“I discovered that the farmer with the off-farm work bought land rather than the full-time farmer.

Mr. Farrell also did a significant business in forestry, with around € 5,000 / acre paid for planting land in an area where investment funds were the main players.

He also saw a good bit of interest coming from tthe equine sector.