Farmland prices up 10% last year as property boom spreads to agriculture
All provinces saw increases, but not as much as in previous years
The average price of farmland across Canada increased 10.1 per cent last year as low interest rates and strong crop income helped maintain demand.
A report released Monday by Farm Credit Canada says last year's gains are part of a continuous upward trend that started in 1993.
The gains, however, are lower than in recent years, and pale in comparison to the 22 per cent increase seen in 2013, and the 14 per cent seen in 2014.
The agricultural finance group says prices aren't going up evenly across the country. Despite the higher average nationally and in every province, many more regions across the country saw price declines in 2015 than saw them in 2014.
"There appears to be greater volatility with a higher number of locales where values decreased," FCC said in a release, advising farmers to prepare for a potential softening of the market as lower crop prices have an impact.
Across the country last year, farmland increased on average by:
- 12.4 per cent in Manitoba.
- 11.6 per cent in Alberta.
- 9.6 per cent in Quebec.
- 9.4 per cent in Saskatchewan.
- 8.5 per cent in Prince Edward Island.
- 7.7 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador.
- 6.6 per cent in Ontario.
- 6.5 per cent in British Columbia.
- 6.3 per cent in Nova Scotia.
- 2.6 per cent in New Brunswick.
J.P. Gervais, the group's chief agricultural economist, says farmers didn't feel the full effects of lower commodity prices last year because of the significant drop in the Canadian dollar.
But looking ahead, Gervais says 2016 could see more modest farmland value gains of two to four per cent as farmer incomes — known as crop receipts — start to be affected.
"The best-case scenario would be for the average value of farmland to reach a point of long-term stability, where any future increases or decreases are modest and incremental," Gervais said.
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