Volume and value of agricultural land changing hands falls significantly

Auctioneers say the fall-off reflects apprehension in rural Ireland

Volume and value of agricultural land changing hands falls significantly

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The acreage of agricultural land sold in Ireland during the first half of the year fell by 45% to 3,300 acres compared to the same period last year according to a survey of auction results carried out by the Farming Independent.

The value of published land sales also collapsed falling from €58m to €28m while the average price per acre was 12% lower at €8,440 per acre.

The significantly reduced sales activity reflects concerns and apprehension across all sectors of the agricultural community at the moment according to the auctioneers surveyed.

Kilkenny auctioneer Joseph Coogan said that the slowdown reflected the struggles facing rural Ireland:

"While parts of the country might appear to have emerged from recession ... farming is in recession across the board."

Ulster Bank meanwhile has also told the Irish Independent that it will switch the loans of any dairy farm customers under pressure due to the sharp fall in milk prices, to interest-only.