Friday, 15 June 2012 10:03

Farm sales up

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Farm sales were up by 28.3% or 103 more farms in the three months ending May 2012 compared to the same three months last year, Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) figures show.

A total of 1398 farms were sold in the year to May 2012, 50.3% more than were sold in the year to May 2011.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to May 2012 was $17,031; a 0.9% decrease on the $17,199 recorded for three months ended May 2011, and a decrease of 8.5% on the $18,617 recorded for the three months to April 2012.

All regions, apart from Gisborne and Hawkes Bay, recorded increases in sales volumes for the three months ended May 2012 compared to the three months ended May 2011. Bay of Plenty recorded the largest increase in sales (+19 sales), followed by Canterbury (+18 sales) and Taranaki (+14 sales). Hawkes Bay recorded five fewer sales in the three months to May 2012 compared to the three months to May 2011, while Gisborne recorded two fewer sales. Compared to the three months ended April 2012 all but Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui and Northland recorded increases in sales.

"The current sales volumes reflect a solid tone as the market enters into the traditionally slower winter period," says REINZ rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke. "With a very good season across the country morale in the rural sector is positive, although caution is evident due to the recent falls in product prices.

"We are seeing continued strength in sales for grazing properties, particularly in Taranaki, Manawatu/Wanganui, Canterbury and southern regions, and a noticeable increase in activity in the viticulture sector in Marlborough. However conditions continue to be difficult for the kiwifruit sector in the Bay of Plenty. "

Included in sales for the month of May were 13 dairy farms at an average sale value of $17,076 per hectare. The median farm size was 116.0ha with a range of 31ha in Taranaki to 1206ha in the Bay of Plenty. The median production per hectare across all dairy farms sold in May 2012 was 714 kgs of milk solids.

Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales with 53.5% share of all sales over the three months. Finishing properties accounted for 17.6%, dairy properties 12.8%, and horticulture properties 5.6%. These four property types accounted for 89.5% of all sales during the three months ended May 2012.

For the three months ended May the median sales price per hectare for dairy farms was $29,485 (60 properties), compared to $33,132 for the three months ended April 2012 (68 properties), and $30,828 (60 properties) for the three months ended May 2011. The median dairy farm size for the three months ended May 2012 was 118ha.

For the three months ended May 2012 the median sales price per hectare for finishing farms was $15,899 (82 properties), compared to $14,551 for the three months ended April 2012 (70 properties), and $10,860 (55 properties) for the three months ended May 2011. The median finishing farm size for the three months ended May 2012 was 83ha.

For the three months ended May 2012 the median sales price per hectare for grazing farms was $13,496 (250 properties) compared to $15,036 for the three months ended April 2012 (233 properties), and $13,490 (186 properties) for the three months ended May 2011. The median grazing farm size for the three months ended May 2012 was 84ha.

For the three months ended May 2012 the median sales price per hectare for horticulture farms was $136,643 (26 properties) compared to $126,110 (22 properties) for the three months ended April 2012, and $129,572 (28 properties) for the three months ended May 2011. The median horticulture farm size for the three months ended May 2012 was 5ha.

The lifestyle property market also saw a 20.8% increase in sales in the three months to May 2012 compared to May 2011. A total of 1584 sales were recorded in the three months to May 2012 compared to 1311 sales in the three months to May 2011. There were 125 more sales compared to the three months to April 2012 (+8.6%).

Ten regions recorded increases in sales compared to April while four recorded falls. Auckland recorded the largest increase (+40 sales), followed by Canterbury (+27 sales) and Waikato (+25 sales). Southland recorded the largest drop in sales (-6 sales), followed by Gisborne (-3 sales) and Otago (-2 sales).

The national median price for lifestyle blocks rose by $15,000 (+3.3%) from $460,000 for the three months to April to $475,000 for the three months to May. Compared to three months to May 2011 the median price also rose by $15,000 (+3.3%).

Commenting on the lifestyle property market statistics Peacocke says, "The lifestyle properties market is showing resilience with a strong increase in volumes for the three months to May compared to the same period last year. Some regions are starting to experience a tightening of the market, although strong increases in sales volumes have emerged in Auckland, Waikato and Canterbury."

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