Land ownership and land prices

Czech Republic, 4 208 000 ha, 76.5 % is owned by natural persons, 13.8 % by legal entities, 5.5 % by municipalities and regions and 4.2 % by the state. The structure of economic operators on agricultural land differs from the ownership structure.

Natural persons manage approximately 30.6 % of the agricultural land area, of which farmers manage 28.2 % of the total area of agricultural land. The remaining 69.4 % of agricultural land is managed by the enterprises of legal entities. The main tool to ensure actual and identifiable
ownership is land consolidation. As of 31 December 2016, simple and comprehensive land consolidations had been carried out on roughly 28 % of the agricultural land resources, while land consolidations are in the stage of being resolved on about a further 9 % of the land. In 2016, the
amendment to Act No. 139/2002 Coll., on Land Consolidations and Land Registries came into force, which appreciably simplifies the land

consolidation process. The plan is to initiate and complete approximately 200 proceedings on comprehensive or simple land consolidation annually, this represents approximately 150 000 ha a year.

Land prices

There are still two types of prices on the land market. The official price is for tax purposes. The market price arises on the basis of market supply and demand and is applied according to the current supply and demand on the market. The average market price of agricultural land (primarily intended for further agricultural use in the medium term) is dependent on the type of land. For arable land, the estimated average market price in 2017 was about 15 CZK/m2, for grassland it was 11 CZK/m2. Due to the significant heterogeneity in the properties of commercial land, the price range is high. The development of market prices of privatized state agricultural land is characterized by an increase in market prices in relation to the official price of the land during a purchase with priority for farmers, even during a free sale. In the case of permanent grassland, the increase in the price is more steady and is not affected to a great degree by fluctuations in the profitability of agricultural production. Farmers are willing to pay up to 200–300 % of the official price for land. Important factors affecting the resulting price are the soil quality, its location, the potential for non-agricultural use, the culture and nature of the transaction. In general, the market prices are rising in the long term (on average about 6–10 % per year); in comparison with the EU-15 they are still lower. In relation to the new EU-12, land prices in the CR are mostly comparable or higher. Over the last 5 years a link with foreign capital has been identified with transfers of land ownership for about 350 000 ha.

Rental – tenure

More than 74 % of agricultural land is rented. In 2017, the rents were in the range of 3 000–6 000 CZK/ha, the highest rent is paid in accord with the profits obtained in the beet and maize production area, the lowest in mountainous areas. The Methodology for a Soil Survey of Agricultural Plots of Land Intended for Rental Agreements is for large scale use by owners and tenants. This fundamental yet simple methodology is a great help, especially for land owners, it contains a sample rental agreement, which may well serve as the basis for all rental agreements, including those where the lessor is the state.

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