Almost 25% of farmland sold in 2018 was bought by business people, the Irish Farmers Journal Agricultural Land Price Report for 2018 shows. 

Almost 7,800 acres of farmland was bought by business people in 2018, out of a total of 31,687 acres - amounting to 17% of individual land sales.

The Irish Farmers Journal said that business people - those with significant income outside of farming - paid the highest prices for land across Ireland with average prices of €12,022 an acre.

Today's report shows that the average price of land in Ireland was €9,072 an acre last year, little unchanged from the 2017 figure of €9,088 an acre.

The supply of land offered to the market in 2018 stood at 70,246 acres, down 11% on the previous year, with the newspaper citing last year's extreme weather events, poor beef prices and Brexit uncertainty for the drop.

At €305m, the total value of land transactions in Ireland last year was down from €313m in 2017.

But today's report noted that Dublin land prices jumped by 75% as speculators continued to make land prices in Dublin the most expensive in the country. 

Land prices in Dublin hit almost €22,000 an acre last year, while Leitrim had lowest land price at €5,222 an acre. The Irish Farmers Journal noted that forestry contributed to 20% of land transactions in Leitrim. 

Today's report also revealed that land prices in Northern Ireland passed the £10,000 mark for first time with the average prices rising by 4.4% to £10,182 an acre.

The newspaper noted that uncertainty surrounding Brexit appears to have no impact on the agricultural land market in Northern Ireland with average prices were up in Armagh, Tyrone, Down and Antrim while they declined in Derry and Antrim.