FARMERS and business people went toe-to-toe at five auctions of Limerick land in just over a week. Three hundred acres were for sale in Glenroe, Knocklong, Shanagolden, Herbertstown and Crecora. The five farms, all handled by GVM, exchanged hands for a total of €3,925,000 or just over €13,000 an acre.
In one of the auctions a “record price for land in Limerick” was achieved - 6.1 acres at Robertstown, Shanagolden sold for €155,000 or an eye-watering €25,400 per acre. The guide price was €75,000 so it made more than double that.
GVM’s Tom Crosse, who handled the auction, said: “Two special buyers both wanted it and they went at it.”
Reflecting on the strength of the market, Mr Crosse said farmers are “fairly flush with money”.
“It's been a great year for milk, good year for beef, single farm payments are filtering into the accounts. There is a feel good factor in the agricultural community.
“Businessmen are getting involved too. Some of them are being charged to have money in the bank. They see land as a very good investment – a very safe haven but dairy farmers are the men to beat,” said Mr Crosse.
His GVM colleague Richard Ryan also broke a record when it came to the auction of 45 acres at Ballyskiddane, Knocklong in Kilmallock Mart last Wednesday.
“It is the fastest farm I ever sold in my 23 years of auctioneering. It was all done and dusted in under four minutes,” said Mr Ryan, who dropped the gavel at €430,000.
The stand-out lot in the five auctions was 79 acres at Kilpeacon, Crecora. Interestingly, thirty years ago this month the National Ploughing Championships were held there.
After Mr Crosse got the ball rolling at €800,000 last Friday it quickly went up in bids of €10,000. Those in the room dropped out and it was left to two online bidders to fight it out. All eyes were on the laptop before the gavel fell at €1,420,000, a whopping €17,974 an acre.
Mr Crosse said he is in the business since 1981 and the 79 acres in Kilpeacon, Crecora, is arguably the finest farm he has ever had to pleasure of offering for sale.
“It has been under the plough for many years which speaks of its quality and what a location – 10 minutes south of Limerick city, near the affluent village of Crecora and in the middle of a very strong farming hinterland. There is extensive road frontage. It is one of those special pieces of land that comes on the market very, very rarely. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Mr Crosse.
Last Thursday, he sold 63 acres at Ballinschoola, Herbertstown for €780,00 – some €150,000 in excess on the reserve. It made €12,380 an acre.
The day before he handled the auction of 55 acres in four lots at Robertstown, Ballyhahill and Shanagolden Demesne, Shanagolden. This included the aforementioned record price of 6.1 acres at Robertstown, Shanagolden sold for €155,000. In total, €695,000 was achieved for the 55 acres, an average of €12,600 per acre.
Last but by no means least was the sale of 58.5 acres at Ballyshane, Darragh, Glenroe by Mr Ryan in Kilmallock Mart last Friday week. The property was withdrawn but negotiations led to a deal being done with the only bidder. Local sources told the Leader it made north of €10,000 an acre.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.