By Tom Collins
Eastern Ontario saw a modest increase in farmland values in 2019 compared to 2018, according to Farm Credit Canada’s annual farmland values report, driven in part by an influx of producers from Quebec.
That, combined with local farmers looking to expand, helped raise farmland values by 2.3 per cent, said the April 6 report.
The FCC report broke down Ontario into eight regions, including two east of Toronto:
• Eastern region (Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Leeds-Grenville, Lanark, Frontenac and Renfrew) saw prices rise 2.3 per cent. In 2019, farmland sold for $9,906 an acre on average (prices ranged from $2,500 to $14,900).
• North Central region (Hastings, Prince Edward, Northumberland, Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Durham and Lennox and Addington) saw prices rise 7.8 per cent. Farmland sold for $7,654 an acre on average (prices ranged from $3,000 to $14,700). This increase was due to demand from supply-managed operations, as well as the extension of Hwy 407 increasing competition between future development land and farmland.
Farm Credit Canada excluded the top 5 per cent and bottom 5 per cent of total sales in 2019 to eliminate outliers.
While no Ontario regions saw a decrease in farmland prices, Northern Ontario had a zero per cent change for the second year in a row.
The Western Ontario region that includes Huron, Perth and Oxford Counties has the third-highest priced farmland in Canada at $18,755 an acre on average, with a range of $10,900 to $26,500.
If you think land prices are high in Ontario, be thankful you don’t farm in parts of British Columbia. According to the report, the highest-priced region for farmland can be found in British Columbia, where land in the Okanagan region sold for $103,288 per acre on average in 2019, with a range of $9,500 to $163,800. Prices there are driven by the wine industry, orchardists and cherry farms.
Land in the South Coast region of B.C. averaged $102,067 per acre, with some land selling for as much as $186,000.
A favourable lending environment and an expansion of large farms led to 2019 Ontario farmland prices increasing by 6.7 per cent over 2018, the report said.
“Ontario’s overall farmland value increase continued to be fueled by a strong demand by supply-managed farm operations, crop producers and to some extent, investors, for a very limited amount of available land,” the report said.
That 6.7 per cent rise in Ontario farmland prices in 2019 was the second-highest yearly increase of the past five years.
Quebec farmers push up Eastern Ontario farmland prices: FCC
By Tom Collins