Auction of 345-acre Longford farm good gauge of agricultural land prices

Thu, Oct 11, 2012, 01:00

THE AUCTION of a 345-acre non-residential farm in Co Longford should act as a good gauge for agricultural land prices in Ireland.

In 2005, the farm generated considerable interest when it was offered at auction, in lots or as a unit, with a guide price of between €2.8 and €3 million. Three serious bidders emerged and the farm was bought for €4.9 million, almost double the guide price at just over €14,200 an acre.

Jackie White of Raymond White Auctioneering in Ballymahon, Co Longford, believes the land should fetch somewhere in the region of the 2005 guide price in today’s market.

The farm, at Clynan near Abbeyshrule, was leased out for agricultural use by its current owner. The land is being offered as a number of lots or again as a single parcel.

“It’s just a straight sale. It’s not a distressed sale – it’s not Nama or anything,” Ms White said. She has seen an increase in farmers seeking to purchase land rather than lease. The farming community is returning to the market now that developers are more scarce.

“In the last couple of months there does seem to be an awful lot of people looking to buy farmland,” Ms White said “Agricultural land is making anywhere between €7,000 and €12,000 an acre.”

Clynan farm comprises of 77 acres of forest and 268 acres of grassland and is located along the banks of the River Inny. The forestry was planted in 1999.

Part of an old landed estate, the land is laid out in four divisions, two of these bounded by the river. The land is well fenced throughout with mature trees and excellent cattle-handling facilities.

The farm is to be auctioned in five lots, with the grazing land divided into 108-, 58- and 102-acre lots. Another lot comprises of the forest, while the grassland is also on offer as a single lot.

The farm will be sold on November 9th at the Mullingar Park Hotel in Co Westmeath.