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Immigrants among those looking for farmhouses in Ireland, farm sales up

Dublin: The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has reported a notable uptick in farm sales across Ireland, with approximately 59,806 acres of agricultural land changing hands in 2022. This represents an increase from the previous year, accompanied by a rise in the price per acre.

Predominantly, the surge in transactions occurred in the western region of Ireland. Here, a substantial 11,061 acres were sold, contrasting with 338 acres in the Dublin region and 5,565 acres in the south-east. Notably, land prices in the western regions tend to be comparatively lower, with areas like Galway, Mayo, and Roscommon offering an average price of up to €6,039 per acre.

Comparing the figures to 2021, there was a marginal increase of 0.4% in sales, marking a significant 23.9% rise from 2020. Interestingly, foreign buyers, particularly those from China, are increasingly participating in Irish land transactions. The average price per acre in 2021 saw a notable rise to €8,094, reflecting a 7.5% increase from the previous year.

However, land prices soar in Dublin and the Mid-East regions, including Kildare, Louth, Meath, and Wicklow, where the price per acre reaches €18,395 and €12,307, respectively. The allure of farmhouses and development potential in proximity to Dublin drives interest, particularly among authorised immigrant populations.

The agricultural sector presents promising opportunities for Indian immigrants, many of whom traditionally gravitate towards sectors like health, finance, and IT. With the Irish government devising schemes to bolster rural investment, there’s growing enthusiasm among immigrants to explore ventures in agriculture and animal husbandry.

The new guidelines aim to facilitate rural development by allowing self-builders with proper plans and demonstrated economic or social need to establish residences. This includes individuals engaged in farming or rural businesses, marking a departure from previous residency requirements. Peter Burke, now Minister for Enterprises, anticipates the finalisation of these guidelines by next year, paving the way for updated rural housing policies across Ireland.

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