Agriculture, land sale and rental prices

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1 1 Agriculture, land sale and rental prices 2 1

2 Outline Some background on agricultural land use in Ireland Useful data sources Examine the issues surrounding the supply and demand for agricultural land Factors affecting the sale and rental price of land Short-term and medium outlook for agriculture and the possible impact on land prices 3 What do we mean by agricultural land? The land area of Ireland is 6.9 million hectares of which 4.4 million hectares is in agriculture (or about 64% of total land area) and 65, hectares is in forestry (or about 9.4% of total land) Area within agriculture 8% is devoted to grass (pasture, hay and silage) 11% is in rough grazing 9% is used for cereal and other crop production Land is not homogeneous Sale prices vary according to suitability for use in agriculture or alternative uses (development) Rental prices also vary, primarily due suitability for use in agriculture Limited official data on range of land sale prices and rental rates We have average land sales price data for each of the eight NUTS 3 regions (to 25) No official data on the price of a hectare of good land compared to average land 4 2

3 Land Use in Agriculture , 4, ha 3, 2, 1, Pasture Silage Hay Rough Grazing Cereals Potatoes Sugarbeet Other Crops Source: CSO 5 Total Ag Land Sales in Ireland (1) Hectares Sold per annum 4, 3, 2, 1, Keep in mind that the total Ag land area in Ireland is over 4 million ha Means that less than 1% of land is traded annually Source: CSO (series terminated in 24) 6 3

4 Ag Land Sales in Ireland (2) Very small portion of land is transacted Typically under 1 % per year and declining Structural and institutional issues behind this Boom years saw sales prices increasingly affected by speculation and re-zoning after purchase For statistical purposes land sold for in excess of 35, per ha is not classified as agricultural land by CSO 7 Average Size of Sales Transactions Average size Hectares Between 1 and 2 hectares on average Source: CSO 8 4

5 Change in Land Farmed Declines in farmed land widespread in south and east, increases in west reclaiming of bog etc 9 Change in Land Use Land moving out of agricultural use in period Area sold 25, hectares Decline in area in agriculture of 13, hectares Land lost to property development and road building Many of the factors affecting demand for land were nonagricultural At least that was the case in the 199 s and much of 2 s But what of the future? 1 5

6 Land as a factor of Production: Imperfect Substitutes Land is a factor of production in agriculture Other factors being labour and capital Land is an imperfect substitute with labour and capital i.e. you can vary the amount of land (and other factors) used to produce a given amount of animals or crops, but this flexibility is limited To increase production (the aim of many farmers) you can maintain the existing land area and increase the use of other factors of production (intensification) However, intensification may become uneconomic as costs increase and an individual may seek to increase their land holding by renting or purchasing land The optimal mix of factors will depend on their relative prices High land prices make intensification an attractive alternative 11 Land as a factor of Production: Imperfect Substitutes (so what?) Supply of labour & capital is more flexible than supply of land To increase labour input You hire someone (labour can also be imported immigration) The price of that labour is the wage rate To increase capital input (such as machinery) You get a bank loan The price of the loan is the interest rate To increase land input You either buy or rent land The supply of land is inelastic (you can t make land or import land so you have to rent or buy it from the Irish land market) In Ireland it s a lot easier to rent land than to buy it 12 6

7 What should determine the value of land? Present value model (PVM) Theory: land sales price = discounted expected stream of future net returns If returns came only from agriculture then we should expect a relationship between rents and sale prices of agricultural land (just as we expect a relationship between sales value and rental value for property) But returns available outside of agriculture (speculation effect golf course, housing, industrial use) meaning that the rental value and sales value could be unrelated But outside influences also influence PVM calculation taxation general inflation interest rates agricultural policy (which affects agricultural income) 13 The problem of land supply (1) Theory: use these variables to calculate the value one might reasonably pay for agricultural land However, traditional Irish social factors impede willingness of owners to supply land for sale Strong emotional attachment to land Should stay in the family name Transfers by inheritance (gift) rather than sale to outsiders Probably main reason why volume of land transactions is small 14 7

8 The problem of land supply (2) Emotional attachment increases farmers reservation price Makes sale less likely ( undervalued by potential purchaser) Faced with low agricultural incomes, rather than selling the whole farm, farmers may instead choose to: A) Rent land B) Sell small land parcels for non-ag use (e.g. sites for houses) C) Work part time in the non-farm economy (to supplement income) Options B and C above are much less likely at present than in the period of the boom 15 The problem of land supply (2) Emotional attachment increases farmers reservation price Makes sale less likely ( undervalued by potential purchaser) Faced with low agricultural incomes, rather than selling the whole farm, farmers may instead choose to: A) Rent land B) Sell small land parcels for non-ag use (e.g. sites for houses) C) Work part time in non-farm economy (to supplement income) Options B and C above are much less likely at present than in the period of the boom 16 8

9 Irish system of land transfer in unusual Most land exchanges in Ireland are non-market based family inheritance (gift rather than purchase) Land usually goes to one farm heir in Ireland Typically the heir is gifted land from previous owner Consequences arise if land is later sold by the heir Siblings may demand a share of the proceeds Process is different in some other EU countries Northern Europe: one heir purchases farm from parents or siblings In Southern Europe: sub-division among siblings Sub-division abandoned in Ireland after the famine in the 184s 17 Irish Tax system also matters Tax system creates little incentive to sell up and exit agriculture Unfavourable tax treatment of proceeds from a land sale Proceeds that are not reinvested in agriculture are highly taxed Creates incentive to reinvest in land following a land sale Tax implications of retaining an inherited farm are lower Makes heirs less likely to sell land they have inherited 18 9

10 Cash Rich Farmer Boom period: some farmers sold land for industrial, commercial, residential, infrastructural or recreational development Some then reinvested in agriculture by buying other farms The economic potential of the farm may have not been a consideration, particularly in a market that is very thin This added to the upward pressure on land prices even in areas that were not considered as possible areas for development 19 Incidence of Off-farm employment percent of farms As the boom progressed, an increasing proportion of farmers and spouses worked off farm in Ireland. This supplemented income from farming, slowing the rate of exit from farming Holder or Spouse(%) Holder (%) Spouse (%) Source: National Farm Survey (Teagasc) 2 1

11 Consequences of thin land market Low turn over of land in Ireland will hinder farms in growing in size hinder the development of farming (tech change) prevent farms from becoming more profitable lead to lower farm incomes make farming less attractive for successors This can be considered as a constraint of international competitiveness of Irish agriculture 21 Role of Ag Policy in Land Market Historically Animals or crops were required to obtain subsidy/support payments (coupled to production) Currently (since 25) Very few support payments are coupled to production You can now receive payments without farming commercially However payments remain attached to land If you sell land you give up both the land and the support payments Ag land may be valued as much for the subsidies it delivers rather than its productive capacity in agriculture 22 11

12 Land Prices and Rental rates 23 Agricultural land price & rental data Agricultural land sales price data sources CSO (1991:Q1-25Q1) ESRI (Barrett and Trace) ( ) Eurostat ( ) Nunan (1987) and Roche and McQuinn ( ) Irish Farmers Journal (to 21) Knight Frank Auctioneers Agricultural land rental price data Nunan (1987) and Roche and McQuinn ( ) Eurostat/NFS ( ) 24 12

13 Agricultural land price & rental data The two most easily sourced price series are the CSO series and Eurostat series Note: both series are compiled through CSO but there are definitional differences Means that the CSO series typically show a higher price than the Eurostat series 25 CSO and Eurostat Ag Land Sales Prices 2, CSO Land Price Eurostat* Land Price Estimates 15, Euro per ha 1, 5, Note: * Eurostat Series extended from 25 to 21 with unofficial estimates CSO data series terminated in

14 Ag land sales prices - per ha: Nominal versus Real (28 prices) Era of high inflation and EU CAP accession bubble Economic boom Agricultural land prices since 191 Agricultural land prices since 1973 Source: Eurostat and Hanrahan Ag land Rental Prices: per ha Nominal and Real (28 prices) No rental price jump during economic boom nominal real nominal real Agricultural land rents since 191 Agricultural land rents since 1973 Source: Eurostat and Hanrahan

15 Real land rental and sales prices: Index (1973=1) Break in relationship in boom period 1973= Source: Eurostat and Hanrahan 29 Rent Sale prices 29 Agricultural Income per ha (left axis) and Agricultural Land Price per ha (right axis) Income /Ha Price /Ha Source: Eurostat and Teagasc NFS 3 15

16 Scale of the Land Rental Market In Ireland majority of land that is farmed is owned land 27: 17.8% of total UAA was rented-in 33% of farms rented in land Average of 17.9 ha per farm rented in Majority of land rented in was by larger farmers 27 average ESU was 19, 69% of land rented by farms > 16, ESU 27 average farm size was 32.3 ha 82% of land rented in was by farms > 3 ha 31 Farm Incomes in Ireland 32 16

17 Farm Incomes Teagasc National Farm Survey Main Authority on Farm Incomes Survey 1,2 farms annually Representative of approx. 1, farm nationally 33 Farm Population by System (21) Mixed Livestock 5% Tillage 6% Dairy 16% Cattle 56% Sheep 17% Source: CSO Note: Excludes Pig and Poultry farms 34 17

18 Farm Population 21 Dairy Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Mixed Livestock Tillage All Full time 14,3 2,189 4,8 3,85 3,383 2,786 29,75 Part time 1,493 2,597 28,258 14,3 1,294 3,483 69,451 Note: Excludes Pig and Poultry farms 35 Farm Population farms Dairy Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Mixed Livestock Tillage All Full time Part time 36 18

19 Recent Crisis and Recovery Some sectors of agriculture have been on a boom/bust rollercoaster in the period 26 to 21 Dairy boom in 27 and 28 / crisis in 29 Tillage boom in 27 / crisis in 28 and 29 A recovery took place in 21 and 211 in dairy and tillage sectors Drystock (beef and sheep) sectors have been relatively unaffected But these sectors are traditionally less profitable anyway Beef and lamb prices relatively stable (by comparison with milk) Rely to a greater degree on part time work off-farm But drystock farm households have been hit more than other farmers by the decline of off farm income opportunities 37 Average Family Farm Income 21 by System euro Loss Making (Market incomes is less than subsidies) Dairy Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Mixed Livestock Tillage Source: Teagasc NFS 38 19

20 Composition of Income euro Dairy Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Mixed Livestock Tillage All Source: Teagasc NFS FFI Direct Payments Market Income 39 Why this loss making production? It does not make economic sense to produce at a market loss Means support payment are covering the market loss More profitable to cease production and retain the decoupled payment So why do such farms stay in production? We don t know for sure but various hypotheses have been advanced Farmers unaware of their precise financial picture Farmers hope that things will turn around Some farmers have no alternative occupation Social pressures (status issues) mean farmers are reluctant to leave farming For some farming is a lifestyle choice (own boss, like rural living etc) Compliance with GAEC best achieved by continuing production 4 2

21 Testing the sustainability of farming Can farming deliver a return on labour and capital? If not farms are considered vulnerable Dairy and Tillage system farms have a greater share of the farms considered to be viable. Vulnerable farms concentrated in the drystock systems 41 The Economic Status of Farms by farm system percent Dairy Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Mixed Livestock Tillage Viable Sustainable Vulnerable 42 21

22 Conclusions on Farm Incomes On average incomes are low high reliance on subsidies Large number of farmers with negative market income A core of viable farms is considered to exist about 4, out of the 13, or so farms are viable but over 3, are deemed vulnerable Dairy and tillage sectors most viable 14, out of 2, dairy farms are considered viable 43 Medium-term Outlook for Ag Sector 44 22

23 Agriculture in the Recession Agriculture is not immune from the current recession Negative impact on some commodity prices in 28 and 29 But Irish Ag sector is export focused Recovery has taken place quicker than in other sectors Previous government made cutbacks related to agriculture Reduction in suckler cow welfare payment (to beef farmers) Closure of the main environmental subsidy scheme (REPS) mainly availed of by beef and sheep farmers 45 Medium term outlook for Ag Long term trends (next ten years) are more positive Strong world population growth, growth in food demand This may lead to some improvement in agricultural prices Globally, in Europe and in Ireland However, input costs are also rising productivity growth will be important if profitability is to improve Real value of EU farm support will decline that some Irish farms will exit production, others will struggle to survive and an elite will expand 46 23

24 Medium-term outlook for land prices Speculation effect has all but gone Cash-rich farmer effect has diminished Land sales prices are now in decline Land prices and agricultural incomes should be more closely related in future Ag policy in the form of support payments remains an issue which causes land to be overvalued 47 Important future considerations for Irish Agriculture CAP Reform Future of the Single Farm Payment after 213 (could be reduced/redistributed) Ending of the Milk Quota WTO Trade liberalisations will expose EU agriculture to greater global competition Environmental Legislation GHG emissions from Irish Ag are 27% of national total Pressure to reduced national emissions including emissions from agriculture 48 24

25 Take Home Messages (1) Sale prices for agricultural land have been unrelated to agricultural income Significant volume of sold land went out of agriculture Land sale prices were extremely high due to: Limited availability of land for sale Largely for cultural reasons Speculation on development potential down the line Inflow of cash into ag sector from sale of development land 49 Take Home Messages (2) Farm Incomes are low on average, often reliant on subsidies Dairy and Tillage farms are the most viable Medium-term Ag outlook is good Historically: land sale prices bore little relation to farm profit But land rents have better reflected agricultural profitability Future: Land prices should better reflect agricultural profitability But support payments coupled to land means a wedge will remain between the economic agricultural use value of land and its selling price Seems unlikely that policy will break the link between land and subsidies in the current decade 5 25

26 Thank You 51 26

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