Farm prices continue to head downward, according to figures released today by the Real Estate Institute.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to July 2011 was $14,649, compared to $15,568 in the three months to June 2011 and $17,901 for the three months to July 2010.
The price is now at its lowest point since September 2003 and continues the downward trend evident since early 2009, the institute says.
At the same time, the number of sales has fallen.
Institute data shows there was a fall in the number of rural sales across New Zealand in the three months to July.
Overall, there were 301 farm sales during this period, compared with 393 sales in the three months to June and 262 sales in the three months to July last year.
All regions, bar one, recorded a fall on sales for the three months ended July, with Southland, Canterbury and Otago recording the largest falls.
However, the number of sales for the three months ended July this year was 957 - 39 greater than for the same period last year.
"The drop in farm sales for the three months to July reflects the time of year and the focus of famers on seasonal workloads," says institute spokesman Brian Peacocke.
"Famers are keenly watching events in financial markets and the trend in the New Zealand dollar. The high dollar over the past few weeks is causing some concern.
"However, the outlook for the currency is difficult to predict and the situation, particularly in respect of the United States remains volatile. Nevertheless, forward enquiry for quality properties remains positive."
- The Dominion Post
What is the main issue for farmers in the upcoming General Election?