The agricultural land market has seen a marked improvement in the past two years, though the average value fell by over €500 per acre.

New figures show that supply has recovered to pre-recession levels with almost 75,000 acres offered for sale in 2013.

The figures are contained in the Irish Farmers Journal Agricultural Land Price Report, published today.

Given the buoyancy in the market, it was expected that the average value of agricultural land would break the €10,000 per acre barrier in 2013. Instead, it fell by over €500 per acre to €9,400.

The market is dominated by executor and receiver sales.

Farmers remain the main buyers of agricultural land, particularly dairy farmers who are looking to extend their farms ahead of the abolition of milk quotas next year.

The Land Price Report also finds the emergence of new buyers - returning Irish emigrants. People who emigrated when the recession hit in 2008, and having worked and saved for the past five years are eager to return home and secure land.