The average price paid for farmland across the State in 2014 was €10,526 per acre – an increase of 0.01 per cent on 2013 prices.
The figures are contained in the 22nd agricultural land survey by estate agents Ganly Walters which is based on all auction and private sales prices reported in the agricultural media.
This average price is 20 per cent above the price recorded in 2010 – €8,776 – but it is 38 per cent below the peak price of €17,081 per acre recorded in 2008. The survey found that more than €177 million was paid for farm properties last year.
Robert Ganly, managing director of Ganly Walters said 2014 was the busiest since 2011. "With 16,849 acres changing hands in 2014 that's a 25.4 per cent increase on 2013 levels," he said.
Unless they are bought by farmers, the survey excludes land parcels of less than 20 acres as these are deemed to be bought for sites for houses or for investment. The Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow region continued as the most expensive area for farmland, averaging €14,064 per acre.
The cheapest land was to be found in the west and north west where prices averaged €6,622 per acre – a fall of more than 22 per cent on 2013 levels. In contrast, a 24 per cent price increase was recorded in the prime farming counties of Cork, Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry with an average of €10,943 per acre being paid. The average price per acre in the north east increased by 36 per cent to €10,868.
In the south east, which includes Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow and Waterford, the average price of land in the south east fell by 14.5 per cent to an average of €10,226.
Prices in the midlands dipped by 1.7 per cent to an average of €9,045 per acre across counties Meath, Westmeath, Offaly, Longford and Laois.