Demand for quality rural properties is outstripping supply, the Real Estate Institute of NZ says.
Rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke said northern parts of the country are seeing higher levels of activity on sheep and beef properties, while in the South Island the spotlight remains firmly on dairy.
''Demand for dairy support units is solid in the Canterbury region, but due to dry weather is soft in the Waikato,'' Peacocke said.
Higher demand and a shortage of quality listings was expected to continue for the next few months.
Nationwide, farm sales increased 13 per cent, with 399 farms sold in the three months ended January. Grazing properties accounted for most of the sales, followed by dairy, finishing properties then horticulture properties.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to January was $23,980 - up 18.1% on $20,299 for the same period last year.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index eased by 3.2 per cent to 3039.77 in the three months to January compared to the same period last year. The index is designed to provide a more accurate measure of farm price movements.
For lifestyle properties, Peacocke said activity remained steady across the North Island, except Auckland which had strong activity.
Lifestyle property sales increased 22.2 per cent nationally - up 273 sales to 1504 sales - in the three months to January 2013 compared to the same period last year.
The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by 6.1 per cent or $28,500 to reach a record high of $498,500 for the three months to January compared to the same period the year before, Peacocke said
The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by 6.1 per cent or $28,500 to reach a record high of $498,500 for the three months to January compared to the same period the year before, Peacocke said.
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