Farmer groups are backing Government proposals to prevent productive land from falling to housing development.
Overall, there were 414 farm sales in the three months to end of November 2013. A total of 1,674 farms were sold in the year to November 2013, 18.1% more than in the year to November 2012.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to November 2013 was $24,056 compared to $22,885 recorded for three months ended November 2012 (+5.1%). The median price per hectare fell 2.2% compared to October.
Compared to November 2012 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose by 4.8%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type compared to the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.
Eleven regions recorded increases in sales volume for the three months ended November 2013 compared to the three months ended November 2012. Southland recorded the largest increase in sales (+34 sales), followed by Waikato (+28 sales) and Bay of Plenty (+24 sales). Two regions recorded decreases in sales volume with Nelson recording the largest fall (-14 sales), followed by Gisborne (-4 sales). Compared to the three months ended October 2013 12 regions recorded an increase in sales.
"The conclusion of numerous marketing programmes during the past month has resulted in a significant lift in the volume of farm sales for the November period," says REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke. "Prices across the board for dairy properties have firmed, with a clear emphasis on quality and location.
"Demand for properties with mixed contour, a lower standard of improvements or less favourable locations is evident, but at reduced price levels."
Noteworthy points include:
• 'Spectacular' prices have been paid for select properties in prime locations, particularly in the main dairying areas of Waikato, Taranaki, Canterbury and Southland.
• Price resistance from some purchasers is now an emerging issue at the upper end of the market.
• Areas such as Rotorua/Taupo, Northland and Otago are experiencing a strong increase in activity as those seeking a higher return on investment and first farm buyers focus on regions where lower prices prevail.
• Demand for land suitable for dairy conversion in the South Island continues to put pressure on supply, with dairy support properties being pushed further into fringe areas.
• Demand for good sheep and beef properties is strong in Hawkes Bay, Canterbury, Otago and Southland, particularly in the 5,000 – 10,000 su range. Prices generally range from $7,000 - $10,000 per hectare, with values as high as $15,000 - $23,000 per hectare at the top end of the finishing/grazing market.
• The horticultural market in Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Marlborough continues at a steady level.
Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales with 43.5% share of all sales over the three months to November. Finishing properties accounted for 19.8%, dairy properties accounted for 16.7% and horticulture properties accounted for 9.4% of all sales. These four property types accounted for 89.4% of all sales during the three months ended November 2013.