Windmills in Dutch fields© Jurgen Christine Sohns/FLPA/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

The most expensive farmland in the EU is in the Netherlands, according to official statistics.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, has released figures which show the national average price of arable land in the Netherlands in 2016 was close to €63,000/ha (£54,800/ha).

Other countries with farmland more expensive than the UK include Italy and Luxembourg.

See also: Buying farmland abroad: Prices, benefits and risks

The UK comes in fourth position on the league table with the average price of arable land in 2016 estimated at €25,742/ha (£22,405/ha), with the highest regional price paid in the south east of England at €28,837/ha (£25,100/ha).

Within some member states there were regions with farmland selling for even higher prices than in the Netherlands – but for the country as whole the average price was lower.

For example, the most expensive region in the whole of the EU was Liguria in Italy with an average price of €108,000/ha (£94,000/ha).

Similarly, the price of arable land in the holiday hotspot of the Canary Islands, part of Spain, was also over €94,000/ha (£81,800/ha).

Cheapest land

Arable land was cheapest in Romania, with a hectare of arable land costing an average of €1,958/ha (£1,704/ha).

Data was not available for Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Malta, Austria and Portugal.

From the data available, the strongest growth in land prices of arable land between 2011 and 2016 was seen in the Czech Republic where prices tripled from €1,856/ha to €5,463/ha (£4,755/ha).

Over the same period the price of arable farmland in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Hungary also doubled.

Rental values

Mirroring the variation in arable land prices, annual rental prices of one hectare of agricultural land (arable or permanent grassland) also vary widely between member states and regions within member states.

Annual rents were most expensive in the Netherlands at an average of €791/ha (£688/ha), but the highest regional average in Flevoland, Holland, was almost twice the national average at €1,536 (£1,337/ha) for the year.

Renting agricultural land was cheapest on average in Latvia €46/ha (£40/ha), although the cheapest regions in the EU for renting were Mellersta Norrland and Övre Norrland in Sweden which were both €28/ha (£24/ha).