How is one hectare of land measured

The rise in the price of agricultural land has slowed

According to the Federal Statistical Office, prices for agricultural land continued to rise significantly in 2018, albeit less sharply than in previous years. On a national average, buyers had to spend 25,500 euros per hectare, 6% more than in 2017. In the previous year, prices had risen by an average of 8% and in 2016 by 14%, the German Farmers' Association quoted in its new situation report.

The percentage price increase in 2018 was more pronounced in western Germany (+ 7%) than in the east (+ 1%). In 2018, an average of 37,800 euros was paid in western Germany and an average of 15,700 euros in eastern Germany. The biggest price increases were in Saxony (+ 20%), Hesse (+ 12%) and North Rhine-Westphalia (+ 10%). In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (-5%) and Brandenburg (-4%), on the other hand, prices actually fell.

Greatly different land prices

Depending on the quality of the soil, type of use or regional location, the price differences when buying agricultural land are considerable. For the relatively high price level in Bavaria (especially the administrative districts of Lower and Upper Bavaria with 107,200 and 106,300 euros per hectare, respectively) and North Rhine-Westphalia (especially the administrative districts of Münster and Düsseldorf with 85,800 and 61,500 euros per hectare), the strong demand for development -, traffic and compensation areas are decisive. Conversely, the lowest purchase values ​​per hectare are found in Saarland (9,700 euros), in Thuringia (10,700 euros) and in the Gießen administrative district (10,300 euros). This is followed by Brandenburg (11,000 euros), Rhineland-Palatinate (13,800 euros), Saxony (14,100 euros) and the administrative district of Kassel (14,400 euros). For 2018, sales of agricultural land resulted in a total turnover of 2.136 billion euros. That is almost 2% more than in the previous year.

Strong land price dynamics - large regional differences

Between 2008 and 2018 the land market showed significantly more price dynamics than before. Since then, agricultural land prices have risen by 156 percent in Bavaria and Lower Saxony, in Schleswig-Holstein by 110 percent and in North Rhine-Westphalia by 102%. On average in the former federal territory, the purchase prices for agricultural land rose by 120%. With a plus of 216%, the percentage increase in the new federal states was much stronger, but on the basis of lower initial values. The land price dynamic was particularly strong in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (plus 262%). By 2016, land prices between East and West had converged significantly.

Take-up of space only accounts for 0.5% of the total agricultural area

As can be seen from the figures published by the Federal Statistical Office, 83,800 hectares of agricultural land changed hands in 2018, 4% less than a year earlier and significantly less than in previous years, when the sales area was well over 100,000 hectares per year.

Measured against the total agricultural area in Germany, the sales area currently accounts for 0.5%. While the sales area in 2018 in the former federal territory decreased by just under 1% to 37,000 ha, in the new federal states it even decreased by a good 6% to 46,800 ha.

In 2018, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was at the forefront in terms of soil mobility with a sold area of ​​12,400 hectares, followed by Saxony-Anhalt with 11,800 hectares, Brandenburg with 11,400 hectares and Lower Saxony with 10,900 hectares. The average area per sale was 3.91 hectares in the east of Germany much higher than in the west with 1.43 ha.

BVVG: Around 1.5 million hectares sold

The land management and recycling company (BVVG) took over the agriculture and forestry sector from the then Treuhandanstalt in mid-1992. The privatization of the agricultural and forestry areas that are still in existence is to continue until the end of 2030.

In the agricultural sector, BVVG has sold a total of 869,100 hectares since 1992. More than 80% of this went directly to local tenants. Only 15% have so far been sold through public tenders; 10% were sold directly to previous owners.

The purchase price of BVVG's agricultural land averaged EUR 20,195 per hectare in 2018. In addition to the agricultural land, almost 596,000 hectares of forest were privatized. 65,000 hectares of nature conservation areas have been transferred free of charge, primarily to the federal states. Another 24,800 hectares were sold for nature conservation purposes. In addition, there are around 81,900 hectares of so-called rededication areas that have been sold for commercial and residential purposes. The BVVG is currently leasing around 117,000 hectares of agricultural land that has yet to be privatized. Around 10,000 hectares are to be sold each year, primarily through tenders.

Purchase value statistics

The statistics of the purchase values ​​for agricultural land are based on information from the tax offices or the appraisal committees for land values. The sales of agricultural land are recorded for which the area sold for agricultural use is at least 0.1 ha in size.

The average purchase values ​​for agricultural land are shown in the federal statistics according to federal states / administrative districts and characteristics such as yield index and area size classes. There is no differentiation between arable land and grassland.

The yield index (EMZ) characterizes the natural productivity of the soil due to the natural yield conditions, in particular the nature of the soil, the design of the terrain and the climatic conditions. Changes in ownership of agricultural land that take place in the context of share sales are not included in the official statistics.

According to a study by the Thünen Institute (TI), such land transfers account for around a fifth of all land purchases in the last 10 years in the new federal states. More details on the purchase value statistics of the Federal Statistical Office can be found here ...