£16k per acre at Poyntzpass land auction

ANOTHER land disposal this week by Best Property Services has offered further evidence that farm land is well and truly ‘bucking the trend’ of the general property downturn in NI.

This week, auctioneer Garry Best successful concluded the sale of a 32.5 acre farm by auction and achieved an unprecedented (in current times) £16k per acre at a final price of £520,000.

Mr Best commenced the proceedings on Thursday morning in their Hill Street Auction room where 20 parties’ attended, including seven active bidders which reduced to two at the closing stages.

The lands on Crewmore Road, Poyntzpass - near to the site of the old Taniokey School House - had no dwellings and were sold as agricultural lands only and had been let in conacre in recent years. Offered as one or separate lots, the farm sold in its entirety to one local bidder.

While previous sales of good quality lands had commanded good interest, Mr Best says this is a significant sale.

“The guide price suggested was in the region of £315,000 given other sales in this locality, so to exceed that by 65% to achieve £16,000 per acre has given the vendors, who reside in Bangor, a bonus they had not been expecting.”

Over the past decade, farmland in Northern Ireland has shown similar price trends as residential and commercial property - rising to a peak in 2007 and subsequently reducing, however Best Property Services recently indicated that this trend was levelling off for farmland.

Whilst there is still a wide variance in price between poor quality land in a remote rural location, compared to top quality land close to a main route (varying from £2,500 per acre to £12,000 per acre) this week’s Crewmore Road sale has shown that the limited supply of quality farm land will attract strong bidding when the rare opportunity to purchase arises.

“In the last six months, two good quality, well-located 80-acre farms were sold within County Armagh and these fetched around £11,000/acre (non-residential) and close to £14,500/acre for the second farm which included a good habitable farmhouse. Today’s sale heralds a new chapter as it was agricultural land with no dwellings but interest in it was so significant it pushed the upper limit to £16k per acre.”

During the past 12 months, Best Property Services have noted an increase in interest for the 50-70 acre size holding from business people and those actively involved in farming, often driven by the relative stability of farm land as an investment and shelter from inheritance tax.

Mr Best says: “While some of these potential buyers may have sold off building sites in better times, or lost land to new roads or development, the evidence would suggest that money is readily available to acquire good quality, well located land and certainly today’s events provide evidence to support that proposition.”

For more information contact Best Property Services, tel 028 3026 6811 or see www.bestpropertyservices.com


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