Nelson-Marlborough farm sales up, but values lower

PETER WATSON
Last updated 12:35 20/11/2012

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The number of farms sold in Nelson and Marlborough continues to edge up.

The latest Real Estate Institute figures show that 28 properties changed hands in the three months to the end of October, three more than the September quarter and eight more than for the same time last year.

The top of the south was one of only five regions to record a rise.

Horticultural and grazing units made up the bulk of sales with 11 each, followed by three forestry blocks, two finishing farms and one special category property.

The overall median price per hectare dropped sharply from $35,693 in the September quarter to $18,965 in October, and is below the $20,056 recorded in October 2011.

Nationally, farms sales fell by 4.8 per cent in the October quarter to 256.

This was 10.5 per cent lower than the same time last year but overall sales for the year to October are 28.6 cent higher.

Institute spokesman Brian Peacocke said the lower figure over the last quarter reflected the timing of sales at the start of spring rather than any particular trend.

"We would expect a lift in sales in November as properties go unconditional."

Prices were generally firmer, rising 10.1 per cent in the October quarter and up 5.3 per cent on a year ago.

Sales of lifestyle blocks also rose in Nelson and Marlborough, increasing from 58 in the September quarter to 63 in October. This was well up on the 44 recorded in the October quarter last year. However, they took the longest time - 140 days - of any region in the country to sell.

The median price improved from $442,500 in the September quarter to $498,000, just shy of the $500,000 recorded in October last year.

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