Farm sales hit by slow spring listings (+graphic)

By Ben Chapman-Smith

REINZ said a shortage of early Spring listings is a serious constraint on buyers. Photo / Duncan Brown.
REINZ said a shortage of early Spring listings is a serious constraint on buyers. Photo / Duncan Brown.

Farms sales have taken a fall in the last three-month period, largely due to a shortage of early spring listings, according to latest figures.

Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) data out today showed there were 269 farm sales in the three months to end of September 2012. That was 49 fewer sales, or 15.4 per cent less, than in the three months to August 2012.

Unsettled weather and market conditions had brought a dampener on the early spring rural real estate market, said REINZ spokesman Brian Peacocke.

"Cold, wet conditions have impacted on feed supplies and production resulting in increased 'on farm' stress.

"We are seeing strong demand for quality dairy and larger sheep and beef farms, but the shortage of listings is a serious constraint on buyers."

Peacocke said an expected increase in properties during October and November was unlikely to meet the increasing demand.

There were 11 more farms sold (4.7 per cent) in the last three months than in the same period last year.

Better news was the fact that, in the year to September, a total of 1,425 farms were sold. That was 35.3 per cent more than in the year to August 2011.

Farm sales are now at their highest level on an annual basis since April 2009.

In terms of farm prices, the median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three-month period was $18,041, 0.5 per cent more than in the previous three months.

The median price per hectare for three months ended September 2011 was $17,694.

REINZ's All Farm Price Index rose by 0.2 per cent, from 2,702.8 to 2,708.97, in the three months to September compared to the previous three months.

The index, calculated with a base of 1000, adjusts sale prices for factors such as location, size and farm type which can affect the median price per hectare calculations.

Compared to the three months ended August 2012 only three regions recorded an increase in sales, led by Auckland with eight more sales).

Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales with 52 per cent share of all sales over the three months.

Dairy Farm prices dropped compared to the three months ended August. The median price per hectare in the past three months was $19,604, down from $24,492.

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