Eight of New Zealand's 14 regions had reductions in farm sales for the three months ended April 2018 compared with the same period last year, with Northland recording the most substantial decline with a drop of 20 sales.

Data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 55 fewer farm sales nationally for the three months ended April 2018 than for the three months ended April 2017. Overall, there were 418 farm sales in the three months ended April 2018, compared with 388 farm sales for the three months ended March 2018, and 473 farm sales for the three months ended April 2017.

'Conversely, forestry has experienced a lift, albeit sales numbers are relatively small.'

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There were 1468 farms sold in the year to April 2018, 19 per cent fewer than were sold in the year to April 2017, with 10.8 per cent more finishing farms, 2.9 per cent fewer dairy farms and 37.4 per cent fewer grazing farms sold over the same period.

Thirteen Northland grazing units sold for three months to April 2018 had a median sales price of $8752/ha.
Thirteen Northland grazing units sold for three months to April 2018 had a median sales price of $8752/ha.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said autumn 2018 has been one of the best for many years and was a welcome offset to the winter and early spring of 2017 which was one of the worst for many years.

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"From a month-by-month perspective and given the time of the year, there is the predictable easing in sales volumes, particularly for the category of finishing units.

Conversely, forestry has experienced a lift, albeit sales numbers are relatively small."
Points of interest around the country included lower but steady sales volumes in all categories in the Upper North Island, with sales of grazing units the strongest point of focus.

REINZ figures show there were 36 farms sold in Northland for the three months to April 30 — 13 grazing and 11 finishing units, seven dairy farms, three horticulture properties, one forestry block and an arable farm.

The 13 Northland grazing units had a median sales price of $8752/ha, down from $13,598/ha in April last year.

Nationally, the 109 grazing farms averaging 99ha sold for the three months ended April 2018, had a median sales price of $10,692/ha, compared with $15,079/ha for the three months ended April 2017. The median price per hectare for grazing farms has fallen 29.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

The 11 Northland finishing farms for the three months ended April 2018 had a median sales price of $24,218/ha, down from $26,527/ha in March but around the $24,409/ha median in April last year.

Nationally, the 134 finishing farms averaging 41ha sold for the three months ended April 2018 had a median sale price of $29,427/ha, down from $30,044/ha for March but substantially ahead of the $25,585/ha median in April last year. The median price per hectare for finishing farms has risen 15 per cent over the past 12 months.

The seven Northland dairy farms sold for three months to April 2018 had a median sales price of $18,553/ha, well up on $15,286/ha for March sales and the $16,802/ha median in April last year.

There were 82 dairy farms averaging 96ha sold nationally for the three months to April 2018 for a median price of $36,028/ha, compared to $33,750/ha for the three months ended March 2018 and $35,186/ha for the three months ended April 2017.

The median price per hectare for dairy farms has increased 2.4 per cent over the past 12 months.

On a price per kilogram of milksolids basis the median sales price was $37.38kgMS for the three months ended April 2018, compared to $37.39kgMS for the three months ended March 2018, and $34.47kgMS for the three months ended April 2017.

The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index fell 2 per cent in the three months to April 2018 compared to the three months to March 2018. Compared with April 2017, the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index fell 5.2 per cent. The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size and location compared to the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.

The three Northland horticulture properties which changed hands for the three months to April 2018 had a median sales price of $93,973/ha, well down on the $200,299/ha sales median for March and the $177,150/ha median for regional sales in April last year.

There were 52 horticultural properties averaging 7ha sold nationally for the three months ended April 2018. They fetched a $278,258/ha median compared to a $277,901/ha sales median for March and $278,419/ha median for April last year. The median price per hectare for horticulture farms has fallen 0.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

The single Northland arable farm sold for the three months to April 2018 made $15,423/ha and the sole forestry block sold in the region made $23,218/ha.

The Northland forestry sale was for a far higher price than the $7349/ha median for the 13 forestry blocks sold around the country in that period. There were 21 arable farms sold nationally for the three months to April 2018 with a median sales price of $35,277/ha.

Meanwhile, the 213 Northland lifestyle blocks sold for the three months to April 2018 had a median sales price of $425,000, down from $430,000 in March and $446,000 in April last year.

There were 1919 lifestyle block sales nationally for the three months to April 2018 with a median sales price of $650,000 — the highest median recorded for the past three years.
Auckland retains its place as the region with the highest priced lifestyle blocks. The 264 sold in Auckland for the three months to April 30 had a median price of $1,241,500.