There was strong activity in the Bay of Islands for kiwifruit and avocado development during the three months ended November 2018, according to a Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) farm sales report for that period.

The orchard development interest was focused on easy contour land with water allocations, which REINZ said was an indication of the change in land use with some top-end dairy farms on good soils possibly going to horticulture and the bottom end going to beef.

Northland dairy farm sales were subdued, but the institute recorded strong activity on beef as well as land suitable for forestry where carbon credits is a driver.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said widespread rain and warm temperatures during November created abundant pasture growth across the country.

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"Sales data for November 2018 compared to the same periods in 2017 and 2016 reflects an increase in volume for the finishing category, but reductions in the dairy, grazing and arable categories," he said. "Horticulture improved from 2017, but was down 28 per cent on November 2016. Forestry remained relatively stable."

There were 36 farm farm sales in Northland for the three months ended November 2018 — 17 grazing and 10 finishing farms, four forestry blocks, two horticulture properties and single dairy, arable and special farm sales.

Grazing farms

The 17 Northland grazing farms had a median sales price of $10,481/ha, down from a $11,205/ha median for grazing farm sales in the region in November 2017, but well ahead of the $8127/ha sales median in November 2016.

There were 93 grazing farms averaging 96ha sold nationally the three months ended November 2018. Their median sales price was $11,835/ha, down 0.4 per cent from $11,881/ha for 99 grazing farm sales a year earlier.

The 10 Northland finishing farms sold for the three months ended November 2018 fetched a median price of $30,328/ha, up from $28,641/ha for sales in November 2017.

There were 112 finishing farms averaging 34ha sold nationally the three months ended November 2018. Their median sales price was $32,635/ha, up 13.9 per cent on the $28,641/ha median for 82 finishing farm sales a year earlier.

The four Northland forestry blocks sold for the three months ended November 2018 had a median sales price of $21,232/ha, down from a $30,984/ha median for October 2018 sales in the region but well head of the $8512/ha median for sales in November 2017.

National sales of 17 forestry blocks for the three months ended November 2018 had a median sales price of $11,481, up from $5817/ha for sales a year earlier.

The two Northland horticultural properties sold for the three months ended November 2018 had a median sales price of $231,432/ha, down from $244,582/ha for orchard sales in the region in November 2017.

There were 50 horticultural properties averaging eight hectares sold nationally for a median price of $196,142 for the three months ended November 2018, compared to a 39 per cent reduction to a $321,582/ha median for 44 properties a year earlier.

Sole dairy unit

The sole Northland dairy farm sold for the three months ended November 2018 made $14,817/ha, down from $16,727/ha for October 2018 sales but ahead of $13,816/ha for sales in November 2017.

The 36 dairy farms averaging 95ha sold nationally for the three months ended November 2018 had a median sales price of $50,964/ha, up 15.4 per cent on $44,154/ha for the sale of 46 farms a year earlier.

On a price per kilogram of milksolids basis, the national median dairy farm sale price was $43.57kgMS for the three months ended November 2018, up 19.5 per cent on the $36.47kgMS median for November 2017 dairy farm sales.

The single Northland arable farm sold for the three months ended November 2018 made $30,883/ha. The 36 arable farms sold nationally in that period had a median sale price of $66,614/ha.

The sole Northland special farm sold for the three months ended November 2018 made $96,154/ha. It was the first special farm sale recorded in the region for at least two years.
There were 23 special farm sales nationally for the three months ended November 2018. They had a median sale price of $30,010/ha.

Meanwhile, the 190 Northland lifestyle blocks sold for the three months ended November 2018 had a median price of $549,000, up on the $540,000 median for regional sales in October 2018 and $120,000 or 28 per cent ahead of the $429,000 median for Northland lifestyle block sales in November 2017.

There was a total of 1769 lifestyle block sales for the three months ended November 2018. Their median price of $665,000 was $35,000 ahead of sales a year earlier.