Farm sales up despite winter lull

Last updated 12:16 19/08/2014

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Farm sales up are 25 per cent over the last year, although winter has seen dairy farm sales virtually grind to a halt.

Figures from the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) show 1923 farms changed hands over the year to July.

Over the three months ended July 2014 the Waikato saw a slight increase in farm sales and a sharp decrease in lifestyle section sales compared with the same period in 2013.

National sales were up with a nearly 17 per cent rise in the three months to July on the same period a year ago, totalling 512.

However, they eased 5.9 per cent compared to the three months to June.

The median price per hectare for all farms in the three months to July jumped 29 per cent to $26,680, on the same period last year, and it was 2.6 per cent higher than in June, although the prices had slipped in many regions.

Brian Peacocke, REINZ's rural spokesperson, said that while there had been a solid increase in annual volumes and prices over the past 12 months, the three monthly figures indicated an easing in both volumes and price.

"Apart from a small burst of activity in Westland, and as expected at this time of year when peak workloads dominate all other activity, dairy farm sales have virtually come to a standstill."

Ten regions reported an uptick in sales volumes, led by Canterbury, then Nelson, Northland and Auckland and Bay of Plenty.

Adjusting for farm size, location and farming type, the REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 5.7 per cent in the three months to July compared to the three months to June. But compared to July last year, the index was up 8.8 per cent.

Unlike dairy farms, Peacocke said sales of finishing and grazing properties had maintained some momentum, with reasonable inquiries for beef farms in the north. There had also been inquiries for dairy support properties through the centre of the country, and for sheep, beef properties and dairy support farms in the lower south.

Sales of lifestyle properties fell 13.5 per cent in the three months to July compared to a year ago, and 1.5 per cent on the three months to June.

Prices of lifestyle properties rose by 7.5 per cent to $525,000 for the three months to July and 1.9 per cent compared to June.

"Overall, sales volumes and prices have been reasonably consistent, with a slight increased in prices and a modest decline in volumes," Peacocke said.

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- Waikato Times

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