New Zealand farm sales, prices little changed

A trend of low farm sales over the past three years is continuing, according to the latest Real Estate Institute report on rural property.

The were 204 farm sales in the three months ended February, down from 219 in the three months ended January and 205 in the three months to February last year.

REINZ said the trend of low farm sales was continuing but anecdotal evidence suggested banks may be starting to have greater confidence in the rural sector.

"There is certainly buyer interest in farm properties across the country with plenty of evidence of rising farm returns, however, buyers are also being cautious and securing finance to complete transactions has remained a constraint for most of the past three months," said institute rural market spokesman Peter McDonald.

A 1000ha fattening property in the Hawke's Bay last month sold for more than $9 million, the first such sale of this size for some time.

Grazing properties accounted for 41.2 percent of sales, dairy properties accounted for 24.5 percent, horticulture properties 10.6 percent and finishing properties 8.8 percent.

The average farm size was 138ha with a range of 52ha in Taranaki to 536ha in Hawke's Bay.

The median dairy farm price was unchanged from January at $3.57m, the median finishing farm price rose $50,000 to $1.2m, the median grazing price was unchanged at $1m and the median horticulture price rose $10,000 to $785,000.

The median dairy farm price was $524,000 higher than a year ago, the median finishing farm price was $247,000 higher, the median grazing farm was $100,000 higher, while the horticulture median fell $165,000.

The average production per hectare across all farms sold in February was 942kg.

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