The average value of Prince Edward Island farmland was up 13.4 per cent in 2016, increasing the rate on a trend that goes back to 2010, according to a report from Farm Credit Canada.

Farmland values on P.E.I. decreased slightly from 2007-09, but then started on a growing trend that hit double digits last year. The Island had the largest increases in farmland prices in the country last year. Nationally prices were up 7.9 per cent.

"It's a matter of the type of properties that have come up for sale," said Charles Dube, senior appraiser with Farm Credit Canada.

"Being smaller lots, they do entail a lot more competition, and when you have competition for the same parcel of ground it usually boils out to be a larger increase in value."

Dube said buyers were mostly local farmers looking to expand their holdings, with some coming from other parts of Canada to start operations on the Island.

Prices were up double digits in all three counties, and were even up outlying areas, as well as on land that is difficult to work or has inferior soil.

Dube said recent increases were bringing Island prices up close to those in other parts of Atlantic Canada.

With files from Laura Chapin