Southwestern Ontario Farmland Value Increases Easing Off

The median price for farmland in Southwestern Ontario was up almost 4 per cent in 2015 from 2014.

Ryan Parker of Valco Consulting says that’s a smaller increase than the region’s 10 counties saw from 2010 to 2013, when hikes of 20 to almost 30 per cent were recorded.

He suggests weakening commodity prices have helped slow the pace of the increases.

Those prices don’t appear to be dampening the number of sales, however.

Parker reports a lot more sales in 2015 than in 2014 with strong demand and vendors eager to sell.

He describes the buyers as big farms getting bigger while most of the sellers are farmers with small acreages and over 60 years of age.

While supply managed farmers are having an impact on sales in some areas, Parker argues it’s strong pork producers in other areas and even beef producers in some parts of Southwestern Ontario.

The county with the highest median price of farmland in 2015 was Oxford, at just over 18 thousand dollars an acre.

Perth, at just under 18 thousand – and Huron, at about 13 thousand – were second and third in the 10 county area.

Middlesex was 4th, Kent 5th, Elgin 6th, Lambton 7th, Grey 8th, Essex 9th and Bruce County was 10th.

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Parker says farmland prices have grown at a slower pace in the past couple of years.

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According to Parker, the trend of farms getting bigger continued in 2015.

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Parker believes the rate of increase may be slower this year in areas like Kent and Essex, because of weaker grain prices.