Farm sales are now at their highest level on an annual basis since April 2009, according to figures out today.
Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) statistics showed a 20 per cent jump in rural property sales for the three months ended August 2012 than for the three months ended August 2011.
A total of 1,451 farms sold in the year to August 2012, which was 44.7 per cent more than in the year to August 2011 and the highest for a year since April 2009.
Prices were also up, with the median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to August 2012 at $17,955. That was 18.5 per cent higher than the $15,148 recorded for three months ended August 2011.
The median price per hectare was steady compared to July 2012.
Compared to the three months to July 2012, 318 farm sales in the three months to the end of August 2012 was 38 fewer.
The market was still seeing solid enquiry for dairy farms, despite a reduction in the dairy payout, said REINZ rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke.
He said there was also continued interest in sheep and beef properties driven by expectations of a recovery in commodity prices.
"The early spring, with strong pasture growth and good early production is providing a platform for farm sales during spring.
"While there is still uncertainty in the rural sector generally, driven by offshore factors and exchange rates the good growing conditions and continued low interest rates auger well for a good farm sales market during the next quarter."
The REINZ All Farm Price Index eased by 4.3 per cent in the three months to August compared to the three months to July, from 2,824.1 to 2,702.8.
Compared to August 2011 the REINZ All Farm Price Index has eased by 1.5 per cent.
On a regional basis, the largest increase in sales in the three months to August 2012 was in Canterbury (21), followed by Auckland (17) and Nelson (14).
Regions that saw a decrease in sales were Southland (-9), Otago (-8), and Taranaki (-4).
Grazing properties accounted for 50 per cent of all sales over the three months. Finishing properties accounted for a 17.6 per cent share, with horticulture properties 12.9 per cent, and dairy properties 6.6 per cent.