The rural property market looks to be consolidating, as prices and the number of sales gain over the three months to February, the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) says.
REINZ data showed there were 129 more farm sales (up 39.2 per cent) for the three months ended February 2021 than in the previous corresponding period.
Overall, there were 458 farm sales in the three months, compared with 329 in the three months ended February 2020.
REINZ said 1542 farms were sold in the year to February 2021, 23.1 per cent more than were sold in the year to February 2020.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months was $25,665 compared to $20,569 recorded for three months ended February 2020 - up 24.8 per cent.
REINZ's All Farm Price Index fell 1.0 per cent in the three months to February 2021 compared to the three months to January 2021 but rose by 7.4 per cent against the same year-ago period.
The index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust.
REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said the sales data confirmed the rural market was in good shape; dairy farm sales were holding well, followed closely by the finishing and grazing sectors.
"Of particular note are the encouraging signals emerging from the world marketplace for dairy produce which in turn is being translated into an increasing payout to the dairy farmers," he said.
"The increased cashflow from this sector alone will have significant benefits for the New Zealand economy.
"Sales of finishing and grazing properties reflect the commitment from those sectors to explore every possibility in the marketplace in spite of serious supply chain issues, with the resultant increasing demand and sustainability of land values of properties within those sectors reflecting an underlying and seemingly sustainable degree of confidence," he said.
Finishing farms accounted for the largest number of sales, with a 30 per cent share of all sales over the three months to February 2021.
For the three months ended February 2021, the median sales price per hectare for dairy farms was $33,538 against $35,142 a year earlier.
The median price per hectare for dairy farms had fallen 4.6 per cent over the past 12 months, REINZ said.
The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index rose 1.1 per cent in the three months to February 2021 compared to the three months to January 2021.
Compared to February 2020, dairy index was up 5.9 per cent.