Thursday, 04 October 2018 11:19

Farm sales off the boil

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Farm sales are well below the levels seen in 2016. Farm sales are well below the levels seen in 2016.

Farm sales remain consistent, but are well below the levels seen in 2016, says the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ).

The three months ended August 2018 saw 12 more farm sales than in the same period last year. Sales totalled 323 in the quarter ended August 2018 versus 311 in the same period in 2017.

REINZ data shows 1466 farms sold in the year to August 2018 -- 14.2% fewer than in the year to August 2017 (dairy farms -6.8%, grazing farms -13.1%, finishing farms -13.9% and arable farms -16.7%).

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to August 2018 was $19,792 vs $27,928 in the three months ended August 2017 (-29.1%). The median price per hectare fell 7.1% vs July.  

The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 1.6% in the three months to August 2018 vs the three months to July 2018. 

Six of 14 regions recorded increases in farm sales for the three months ended August 2018 vs the three months ended August 2017. Manawatu/Wanganui (+16), Southland (+12) and Otago (+9) were the top three regions to increase the number of farm sales compared to August 2017. Canterbury recorded the biggest decline in sales (-14) followed by Auckland (-11). Compared to the three months ended July 2018, 12 regions recorded a decrease in sales with the biggest drop being in Waikato (-21). 

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke says sales volumes are about the same as 12 months ago but well down on the equivalent period in 2016. 

“Onfarm conditions during August have been similar to last year, with heavy rainfall creating difficult ground conditions and pasture damage in the northern regions.

“Long wet stormy periods have resulted in heavy losses of newborn lambs in central to coastal North Island, and heavy snow has disrupted farming and tourism in the central to southern South Island.”

Stuff happening within Fonterra is causing some producers to overlook that the milk price for the current season is better than last year.  

Peacocke says beef and sheep farmers are benefitting from strong prices for beef and lamb, fruit and veges are at record high prices and interest rates and the exchange rate remain low, although higher fuel prices are hurting farmers.

“M.bovis preoccupies MPI and farmers, who expect transport and stock and station firms to be vigilant and fulfill their biosecurity obligations,” he says.

Quiet and consistent 

• Dairy- minimal activity as seasonal activities dominate; five transactions only in August

• Finishing - relatively quiet in the North Island apart from smaller blocks on the Kapiti Coast; a similar situation in the Tasman district; solid activity in Canterbury on smaller units; steady sales in Southland

• Grazing– consistent sales in Northland; lighter activity in Taranaki, but reasonable sales in Canterbury, Otago and Southland

• Arable – quiet NZ-wide except in Canterbury which is simmering

• Horticulture – an unexpected surge of sales in Bay of Plenty and light activity in the Gisborne and Southland districts

• Forestry– two sales in Marlborough region but minimal activity elsewhere.

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