Kind weather and good growing conditions are convincing many farmers to hold onto their properties instead of putting them on the market, the Real Estate Institute says.
Farm sales for the three months to August were up 16 per cent on the same period a year ago, and farm prices rose a substantial 20 per cent on last year. Canterbury farms were the second-fastest selling at a median 57 days, just behind Taranaki.
REINZ spokesman Brian Peacocke said demand was outweighing supply as farmers enjoying the favourable conditions appeared disinterested in trading properties right now.
"The majority of farmers are in good spirits and many appear to be happy to retain their properties for now in order to capitalise on the higher returns being predicted by the export sector," he said.
"The net result across New Zealand is strong demand, particularly for quality, sensibly priced property, and a current shortage of supply." Overall, there were 369 farm sales in the three months to August, down from 438 farms in the three months to July but 51 sales more than the previous year.
For the year to August, 1541 farms were sold, 6 per cent more than the same period in 2012.
The median price per hectare for all farms was $21,676, a 20.7 per cent increase on the same period in 2012 and nearly 5 per cent higher than July.
Bay of Plenty recorded the largest increase in sales, followed by Auckland, Waikato and Taranaki.
Sales of dairy farms eased slightly but sales of finishing, grazing and horticultural properties remained steady in most regions. Horticultural sales were boosted by increased interest in kiwifruit properties in the Bay of Plenty.
Sales of lifestyle properties rose 21 per cent on the corresponding three-month period last year, with 1676 sales in total. The major players in the lifestyle block market were Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury, Peacocke said, and with the ongoing effects from the earthquakes still affecting the market around Christchurch.
Canterbury had the second biggest rise in sales, with 58 more changing hands than last August.
The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by $30,000, or 6.6 per cent, to $485,000.
- © Fairfax NZ News