Farmland prices in European countries, region by region

The latest update of European agricultural land prices by Eurostat confirms the significant differences between countries. According to these 2019 figures, France is among the countries where land is the least expensive, with an average of €6,000/ha, eleven times less than in the Netherlands, which tops the table at €69,632/ha. Croatia has the lowest prices, with an average of €3,395/ha.

In February, Eurostat updated the figures for agricultural land prices in Europe with 2019 data. Although there have been some changes compared to the previous update (2016 figures), it is clear that there is still a big difference in prices between countries and regions. Note that data for Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Malta, Austria and Portugal are not available.

Very large price differences between European regions

The lowest price is found in Sweden in the Övre Norrland region, at €1,624/ha, compared to almost €134,000/ha in the Canary Islands. Apart from this exception, the most expensive arable land is in the Netherlands, in Noord Holland, at an average of €82,710/ha.

The Netherlands is the country with the highest agricultural land prices in Europe, with an average of €69,632/ha in 2019. They are lowest in Eastern European countries: €3,395/ha in Croatia, where land prices are lowest, €3,361/ha in Estonia, €3,922/ha in Latvia. Conversely, land is expensive in Italy, at an average of €34 156/ha, and in Ireland, at €28 068/ha.

Why the price differences?

The level of agricultural land prices depends on several factors, such as legislation, availability of land or farmers' incomes. In France, the agricultural situation does not really influence land prices, which have been stable for several years. The low reactivity of the land market to national and European policies can also be explained by the very strict regulation of land tenure. On the other hand, in some countries such as Denmark, prices are directly linked to farm incomes and the regulations that may affect them. Between 2016 and 2019, in parallel with a strengthening of environmental constraints, prices have therefore decreased in this country, from 21,202 €/ha on average to 17,580 €/ha.

In the Netherlands, it is the low supply of agricultural land that justifies these price levels. Other factors may also play a role, such as the ease or otherwise of changing the use of land, or the high added value of production. The cost of transactions, which varies from country to country (agency fees, notary fees, transfer duties, etc.), is also important, since it reduces financing capacity, and therefore prices, when it is high.

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