Valuating Agricultural Land. Quality really matters!

Working for over 21 years in Slovakia with land related projects I am often surprised by the wide variety of prices that are asked for and also paid for agricultural land. For sure, a lack of reliable information (transaction prices are not publicly available in Slovakia) is an important reason for this variety in prices. Another trend is that Slovak sellers try to base their asking price on prices paid in other countries without paying a close look at the quality of their own land. Sellers also often forget that foreigners (also EU residents) are mostly, by law, excluded from buying land in Slovakia making the market less transparent and less liquid. [Read more...]

Agricultural land lease in Slovakia. A low risk factor for farmers?

Slovakia has a very specific structure of ownership and lease of agricultural lands. 20% of the agricultural land is owned by so called “unknown owners”. The Slovak State is aware that these lands used to be owned by private people. However, contact with these owners or their heirs was mostly lost during WWII and the communist era. These 20% are managed by the Slovak State, that itself also owns 5% of the agriculture lands. The remaining 75% is owned by known private and corporate owners (including the Catholic Church).
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How (in)expensive is agricultural land in Slovakia?

When valuating assets, many people tend to look backwards and then determine if current values are realistic and market conform. When doing this for Slovak arable lands, one could come to the conclusion that, especially the larger parcels in southern and western parts of Slovakia are overvalued. [Read more...]