MORE land that was zoned for development on the edges of towns and villages in County Limerick will come to the market this year, says Tom Crosse.
The GVM auctioneer said that NAMA, banks and other institutions were taking a hold value on that type of land anticipating and expecting that values would recover.
“I think now there is a realisation that isn’t going to happen. You’re picking up land on the outskirts of County Limerick towns and villages that is partially zoned at agricultural prices. They are not making anything more than agricultural prices. It is a startling feature.
“We sold land close to villages and towns last year that would have changed hands for considerable sums during the boom years and has since gone into NAMA,” said Mr Crosse.
He sold partially zoned land near Bruff last year for €9,000 an acre, and near Kilmallock for €10k an acre.
“That kind of land could have been making up to €200,000 an acre during the boom. There will be more land released in 2013. I’ve looked at quite a bit of land for NAMA.
“I’ve 101 acres just on the market for KPMG in Limerick Junction. It’s a receivership sale and you are going to see more of that coming on stream.
“Unfortunate builders, developers and investors could have bought agricultural land in the boom and seen it as an investment. They may now be forced to sell because of indebtedness to institutions,” said Mr Crosse, who believes that land will recover in price. “It will recover but it will take time,” he said.
The only people buying the aforementioned land are farmers, and banks look favourably to loaning money to the agricultural sector, said Mr Crosse.
“Interest was quite strong from the farming community in 2012. We offered attractive pieces of land for sale in areas like Patrickswell and Ballysimon - within commuting distance of the city. They traditionally would have been purchased by business people. The market was very much driven by the farming community. There was little or no interest from the business sector,” said Mr Crosse.
Based on 2012 he says poor land is making €5k an acre and good land €10k.
“You would want something exceptional to break that,” said Mr Crosse, who has around half a dozen farms going for auction in the spring and is optimistic for a good year for land auctioneers.