Farms headed for hot prices

JACQUIE WEBBY
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2013

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South Canterbury's rural property market could set records this summer.

PGG Wrightson Real Estate's South Canterbury regional manager, Susie Williams, said underlying trends were gradually pushing the market to new heights.

"During the recently completed spring selling season, a sellers' market prevailed in South Canterbury," she said.

"Judging by the high value sales of dairy properties in Mid-Canterbury and North Otago recently, if that carries over into our regions, some local price records may well be broken during the summer."

According to Mrs Williams, there are already some signs the market is gearing up.

"Younger generations, seeking to gain a foothold in land ownership and provide support for existing operations, are generating demand for dairy support blocks ranging between 90 and 200 hectares," she said.

"Dryland blocks that would previously not have been considered economic are now selling for at least $19,000 per hectare. Other properties listed for sale during the spring also look set to establish new records."

A stand-out sale in early November was a 141ha Waitohi property which provided a benchmark for early spring farm sales.

The farm is 30km north-west of Timaru and was previously used for cropping and finishing.

It was offered to the market for the first time in four generations.

Sold by auction, the property attracted a number of keen bidders and was eventually purchased by local interests involved in dairying for $3.54 million, or $25,000 per hectare.

The strong inquiry was also evident in Ashburton, where a dairy farm sold for $52,500 a hectare.

Buyers looking for smaller properties in Canterbury found the lifestyle sector offered plenty of choice, but decisions had to be made relatively quickly, with days to sell coming back to 44.

In total, 227 lifestyle properties sold in Canterbury in the three months to October 2013, with the median price up 17.6 per cent compared with the same period in 2012.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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