Bay of Plenty leads surge in farm sales

Last updated 12:37 19/05/2014

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Bay of Plenty is a farm-buying hot spot as sales and land values increase around many farming areas.

Kiwifruit properties were in demand in the Bay of Plenty with more than 25 sales in the the three months ending April, followed by Otago and Northland with nine sales each and Nelson with eight.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) says the median price for all farms sold in the three months to April was $24,574 a hectare compared with $20,241/ha for the three months ending April 2013.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said sales volumes had continued to rise over the last couple of months with confidence in the market shown by a price lift during April.

"Rural morale has rebounded following drought-breaking rainfall in the northern regions," he said.

"Conversely, the surplus of rain that has been great for the pastoral sector in the South Island has impacted heavily on some in the arable sector."

Eight regions recorded more sales than in the three months ending April 2013. Farm sales at 1849 transactions, were up 27.2 per cent from the previous year.

Sales highlights include:

- A steady market for dairy and grazing properties in Northland.

- A shortage of listings from strong sales for dairy and dairy support properties throughout wider Waikato.

- Strong prices in the Bay of Plenty for good quality kiwifruit orchards, with local buyers the most active.

- A distinct winding down of the market in Taranaki as the season draws to a close after healthy sales.

- Steady sales for dairy and grazing properties in Manawatu, but a quieter market in southeastern North Island.

- Depleted stocks are tied to the seasonal slowdown in Canterbury and the good interest for top dairy farms is offset by buyer resistance to higher prices.

- A shortage of properties available in Otago.

- A busy Southland market with additional interest stimulated by the release of Solid Energy properties.

Grazing properties accounted for 37.1 per cent of all sales followed by finishing properties 21.5 per cent, dairy properties 21.1 per cent and horticulture 9.6 per cent.

The median price for 105 dairy farms sold was $34,615 a hectare from $34,474/ha for the three months ending March. A year ago the median price was $34,819/ha, but fewer farms were sold.

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