Key Issues and Developments in Farmland Sales Markets in the EU Member States and Candidate Countries

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06 February 2012
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This paper describes recent developments in sales markets of agricultural land in selected member states of the European Union and its candidate countries. Analysis focuses on the importance of the sales market for agricultural land, the average size of transacted plots, and the evolution and magnitude of the land sales prices. The share of agricultural land sold on the market is relatively stable in most of the old member states, with the exception of Finland, the Netherlands and the UK, where a more dynamic market is observed. For the new member states, the sales market for agricultural land is strongly affected by public sales under the ongoing land privatisation programmes, while strong variation prevails in the private sales market. Substantial differences are also observed in both the average size of the transacted plots and the sales prices. For the latter, price regulations partially explain the heterogeneity in the evolution of sales prices.

Pavel Ciaian and d’Artis Kancs are working at the European Commission (DG Joint Research Centre); Johan F.M. Swinnen is a Senior Research Fellow at CEPS and Director of the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at KU Leuven; Kristine Van Herck is a PhD Student at the LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance at KU Leuven; Liesbet Vranken is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, at KU Leuven.