Data and country coverage

The empirical analysis in this paper is based on a combination of several data sources. In particular, we combine insights from comparative data analyses based on data from Eurostat and the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) with data analyses and information collected from a series of country and regional (sub-country) studies.

The countries covered (EU study countries) are Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Land market developments in the EU study countries

The amount of land which is rented and sold and the volumes of rental and sales transactions differ greatly among the EU study countries (Figures 3.6 and 3.9). Farms in Belgium, France, Northern Ireland and Germany are more likely to rent land (more than 65% of the land used). In Sweden, farms rent approximately 50% of the agricultural land used. In contrast, the prevalence of land renting is lowest (17%) in Ireland. In the rest of the EU study countries, farms rent between 34% and 43% of the land used. The share of rented farmland of the total Utilized Agricultural Area (UAA) is increasing in most of the EU study countries.

Agricultural land prices, both sales and rental, also vary widely across the EU study countries. The variation in rental prices is somewhat lower than in sales prices but large differences are likewise apparent. The difference in rental prices between the lowest and highest country was around six to one in 1992 and more than seven to one in 2006 (Figures 3.4 and 3.5). In the peak years, sales price differentials between the most and least expensive countries exceeded twenty to one — ranging from around EUR 2 000/ha in parts of Sweden to over EUR 40 000/ha in parts of the Netherlands. These figures imply that awarding the same amount of subsidy per hectare of agricultural land would have quite diverse impacts on land prices (Figures 3.7 and 3.8).

The evolution in agricultural land prices over the past decade have been diverse as well. Over the period from 1992 to the present, real farmland sales prices have decreased by around 25% in Greece, while increasing by around 250% in Ireland. Developments in rental prices since 1992 range from a decline of around 25% in Finland to a rise of around 55% in Spain (Ciaian et al., 2010).

Figure 3.4. Evolution of real rental prices for agricultural land in the EU study countries

1992-2006

* Not in the figure.

For 1992-96, GDP deflator for Germany, OECD; for 1997-2007, harmonised indices of consumer prices, euro area, Eurostat.

Source: Ciaian, Kancs and Swinnen (2010).

Figure 3.5. Evolution of rental price indices for agricultural land in the EU study countries

1992-2006

For 1992-96, GDP deflator for Germany, OECD; for 1997-2007, harmonised indices of consumer prices, euro area, Eurostat.

Figure 3.6. Evolution of rented share of total agricultural area in the EU study countries

1992-2006

Source: Ciaian, Kancs and Swinnen (2010).

Figure 3.7. Evolution of real sales prices for agricultural land in the EU study countries

1992-2007

For 1992-96, GDP deflator for Germany, OECD; for 1997-2007, harmonised indices of consumer prices, euro area, Eurostat.

Source: Ciaian, Kancs and Swinnen (2010).

(%change, 1992=100)

Figure 3.8. Evolution of sales price indices for agricultural land in the EU study countries, 1992-2007

For 1992-96, GDP deflator for Germany, OECD; for 1997-2007, harmonised indices of consumer prices, euro area, Eurostat.

Source: Ciaian, Kancs and Swinnen (2010).

Figure 3.9. Evolution of agricultural land sales as a percentage of total Utilized Agricultural Area

in the EU study countries, 1992-2007

 
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