The average price of farmland nationally 2018 stood at approximately €9,700/acre- that's according to the latest Sherry FitzGerald Agricultural Land Price Index.
This represents an increase of €200/acre over the course of a twelve-month period; the average price of farmland in Ireland - excluding Dublin - was approximately €9,275 - a price climb of nearly €230 in the same period.
Following a stabilisation in early 2017, national land values have now enjoyed three consecutive quarters of growth; agricultural land values rose "steadily" by 2.5% in 2018, researchers outlined.
Prime arable land was the fastest growing land type in the quarter, with price growth equalling 0.8%, while prime grassland prices increased at a slightly slower rate of 0.7% and marginal grassland increased by 0.2%.
The average price of prime arable farmland nationally stood at approximately €11,650 at the end of the first quarter of the year, according to the Irish agricultural land market Q3, 2018 review.
Land values strengthen
Agricultural land values in Ireland strengthened by 0.9% during the opening quarter of 2018. "This growth has facilitated the further recovery of land values and brings the annual growth rate in the twelve months to the end of March 2018 to 2.2%. This contrasts with a price reduction of 2.5% in the year to Q1 2017."
Both grass and arable land noted an increase in value in the quarter; the price of prime grassland increased by 0.7%, while marginal grassland rose by 0.8%.
Similarly, prime arable farmland increased in value by 1.2% in the same period. The South-East saw the strongest rise in the quarter, with the average price of farmland in the region increasing by 1.4%.
The South-West and the Mid-East trailed marginally, recording growth of 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. Annually to Q1 2018, the Midlands has enjoyed the largest increase in prices with 3.9% growth, followed by the South-West and the South-East, at 3.2% and 3.1% respectively.
Notably, the West was the only region where a decline in prices was noted over the twelve-month period, with land values dropping by 0.8%.
"Anecdotal evidence suggests that buyer sentiment continued its upward trend in the quarter, following consistent improvements over the past year, although supply constraints appear to be a persisting issue."
"However, the resilience of this improved sentiment and current price growth is uncertain."
"The final outcome with regards to Brexit, as well other as other ongoing political negotiations, in conjunction with price developments in the commodities markets will have a significant impact on the land market going forward." The report concluded.
The review - which was undertaken by Marian Finnegan - Chief Economist - Director, Research; Eoin Lynch - Junior Economist and Researcher - can be accessed here.