Farm sales up, confidence strong

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 12:36 24/01/2014

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The number of farm sales rose by more than 20 per cent last year, reflecting strong confidence in the rural sector, the Real Estate Institute says.

More than 1700 farms were sold in 2013, the largest number of sales a year since 2009.

Figures released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) today showed 292 more farms were sold in the three months to December compared to the same period the previous year, an increase of 20.1 per cent.

Overall, there were 554 farm sales in the three months to the end of December 2013, compared to 414 farm sales for the three months ended November 2013, an increase of 33.8 per cent.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index rose by 4.9 per cent in December compared to the same month the previous year.

The index rose 1.2 per cent in the three months to December, compared to the three months ending November.

Farm prices were also on the rise with a 4.7 per cent rise in the median price per hectare in all farms sold for the three months to December compared to the same period the previous year.

The median price per hectare in the three months to December was $24,163 compared to $23,070 recorded for three months ended December 2012.

The median price per hectare rose 0.4 per cent compared to November.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said the results reflected strong confidence in the rural sector.

"The combination of incremental price increases and ongoing demand for quality properties is a sign that these positive trends will continue into 2014."

Ten regions recorded increases in sales for the three months to December compared to the same period the previous year.

Otago recorded the largest increase, with 32 more farm sales in the region.

Southland had 30 more farm sales followed by Waikato with 25 more sales.

Four regions recorded decreases in sales volume with Nelson posting the largest fall, a decrease of 17 sales.

West Coast, Auckland and Gisborne all posted slight decreases.

The REINZ figures showed a healthy dairy farm market, with 121 sales for the three months ended December, an increase of 52 sales on the three months ended November.

This was the result of activity in Northland, Waikato, Taranaki and Canterbury, REINZ said.

Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales with a 42.8 per cent share of all sales during the three months to December, finishing properties accounted for 20 per cent of sales, dairy properties accounted for 21.8 per cent and horticulture properties accounted for 6.5 per cent of all sales.

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- Fairfax Media

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