Farm land values continue to rise

·1 min read

Despite the pandemic, Canada farmland values continue to rise across Ontario, according to the latest report from Farm Credit Canada.

Average farmland values increased by 5.4 per cent in 2020 across the country, a slight rise over the 2019 increase of 5.2 per cent.

The biggest gains were made in British Columbia and Quebec with Ontario and Manitoba seeing the slowest land value growth.

According to Kent Federation of Agriculture president Jay Cunningham, the average price of farmland in Chatham-Kent is around $15,000 an acre, but this can vary widely depending on where the land is located in the municipality.

There also aren’t a lot of farms for sale, Cunningham says, adding it’s difficult to know what is for sale as many deals are done privately.

In many cases, Cunningham says, real estate companies are not involved. When a farm changes hands, it may be sold to a family member, or to a neighbour, or possibly to a farmer who has been historically renting and working the land.

“It’s hard to judge how many are for sale,” Cunningham says.

As of Monday, Realtor.ca had only nine farm properties listed for sale in Chatham-Kent with the most expensive coming in at $4.2 million.

The 130-acre property, with no buildings, is located on Queen’s Line near Chatham.

Agricultural newspapers and media outlets also feature farms for sale, often by tender.

While land is a farmer’s most valuable asset, Cunningham says the value isn’t realized unless the property is sold.

Ontario’s farmland value gains were 4.7 per cent in 2020, 6.7 per cent in 2019 and 3.6 per cent in 2018.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald