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Annual Teagasc/SCSI Agricultural Land Market Review and Outlook 2021

This joint publication is the 8th annual report reviewing economic activity in the farming sector and activity in associated agricultural land sales and rental markets. It provides an outlook for 2021, and a special feature on how the planning system and rural housing affects land values.

The survey of 156 auctioneers and valuers from all over the country was conducted in February 2021. SCSI auctioneers and valuers say land prices remained resilient last year despite the threat posed by Covid and are predicted to rise by 4% on average this year. In a major new survey, auctioneers, valuers and chartered surveyors operating in the agricultural and rental markets say that restrictions on viewings due to lockdown led to a decrease in the volume of sales, as prospective sellers opted to defer their plans to sell.

Transparency within the land sales and rental market provides a level of comfort and confidence to those looking to transact agricultural property. Our data therefore provides values for residential and non-residential land sales and rental prices.

County Price Guide

A new feature of this year’s report is the evolving dataset, which now includes a county-by-county breakdown rather than just provincial detail. The report features two categories of land price sales, sales prices for poor land and for good quality land.

The main findings:       

  • Land prices forecast to rise by 4% on average in 2021 underpinned by a rise in farm incomes as well as strong demand and reduced supply.
  • National average non-residential prices ranged from €5,900 per acre for poor quality to €9,381 for good land in 2020
  • The most expensive land was in Kildare where good quality land fetched an average of €13,600 per acre
  • The cheapest was in Leitrim where poor quality land was valued at an average of €3,250 per acre
  • Land rental price increases of 8% are predicted for Leinster this year while the figures are 5% and 6% for Munster and Connacht
  • While Covid had minimal impact on agricultural commodity prices, public health restrictions on viewings and auctions have led to deferral of land sales
  • Chartered Surveyors say land prices have remained resilient, underpinned by strong demand and lower sales activity despite the uncertainties caused by Covid
  • Land values have also been underpinned by a rise in farm incomes - the report estimates average farm incomes increased by 6% last year and predicts they’ll rise by average of 3% in 2021

Agents in Leinster say younger farmers with a Green Certificate, which is a level 5 qualification are helping to drive the market. However, they caution that land price expectations from some vendors are simply unrealistic at this present time. Leinster had the highest prices in 2020 because of the higher quality of land in the province and the high demand for it. In Munster, dairy farmers are driving the market.  In Connacht/Ulster average land quality is typically lower than other regions, tends to be available in smaller lots and is mainly for grass-based agriculture. 

 Download Publication (PDF)

More detail here in Press Release