Connacht/Ulster Farms sale 2021: Forestry pays good price for poor quality land

The Connacht Ulster land market is somewhat different from the rest of the country. The private treaty model is the preferred route, with many small parcels changing hands locally.

However, auction experience in the border countries and the West for 2021 shows what happened in other regions.

Eight auctions were filed in the national press, in which 432 acres of land were disposed of, a 61 percent increase from the previous year. The amount of money generated was 49pc, at €3.62m.

The average price per acre was down 7pc, but the 2020 figure was cut short by the sale of a large, scattered farm in Donegal that made up to €36,000/ac.

There is a better comparison with 2019 and 2018, and the 2021 average is up 25pc over those years.

Three sales broke the €10,000/ac mark, with a 13ac parcel in Aghmagree, Co Roscommon making €20,374/ac under the hammer. Evan Connaughton,

The property that made the most money was an 80ac sprawling farm in Carromacbrian, Rathley, Eski, Ko Sligo. It earned a total of €892,000 when sold by Carl Fox in 13 lots.


One in 13 lots making up 80ac farms in Easkey, Co Sligo earned €892,000 or an average of €11,000/ac

The largest land holding to change hands at auction was sold by Sligo auctioneer Roger McCarrick.

108ac The property was held on three different farms around ballinacaro and Coloni.

It was bought by local young farmers for €632,000 or €5,900/ac.

In Donegal, Robert Gorley handled the sale of a lucrative 30ac coastal property in Drumery, Linsfort, on the Inishowen Peninsula. The holding made €260,000 and was bought by a man from the area living in Australia, who made his bid online.


A 30ac parcel of land with common use at Drumry, Linsfort Donegal made €260,000 or €8,700/ac at auction

Mr McCarrick said he had a great year and, if anything, experienced a land shortage,

“Everything that hit the market sold out,” he said. “There were strong prices for poor-quality land and it was driven by forestry. Koilte is looking for land for hardwoods and native woodlands, while other investors are looking for land for softwoods.


This 69ac residential ranch in Cavan, Cotehill, Carolina, made €490,000 or €7,000/ac when sold by Raymond Potterton auctioneers.

“I’m selling a lot of standing planters, and these are making between €2,500 and €3,500/ac, It is being driven by investors looking for carbon credits.”

The discovery of carbon off-set and sequestration will have a major impact on the forestry sector, he added.

Evan Connaughton described 2021 as “a bumper year”.

“Online auctions worked great and we sold everything we had. Most of what we sold was between 10ac and 40ac and it made good money,” he said, adding that several small pieces were being broken up by dairy farmers.

“These small parcels are making great prices. A 13ac parcel in Kilkerin made €155,000, which is about €12,000/ac,” he said.

,market is busy , I have some small pieces ready for sale and a lot of land ready, ,

Karl Fox

Told the market strange that investors and other buyers across the country are buying small holdings in Mayo.

“At the moment a small parcel of land we are closing is being bought by a Wexford man. I think most of the land will end up in forestry,” he said.

He said that in May the really good land is earning €8,000/ac, the good land €6,000/ac, the average land €4,000/ac and the swamp €1,000/ac.

“There’s also a market for mediocrity, which is creating an almost marshland,” he said.

Goreto’s Colm Farrell Said: “The land had good trade and farmers on both sides were the main customers.

“I found that a farmer with a non-farm job was buying land instead of a full-time farmer.

Mr Farrell also had a strong business in forestry, paying approximately €5,000/- for planting land in an area where investment funds were the main players.

He t. also saw a good interest coming fromI have the equine sector.