Northland farm sales for the three months to May 31 were down 33 on the same period last year with only 34 farms sold — six dairy, seven finishing and 14 grazing farms, two forestry blocks and five horticulture properties.

Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) data shows the Northland decline was the most severe of the sales slumps experienced by 10 of the 14 regions around the country, with 443 farms sold in the three months ended May 2018, compared with 418 for the three months ended April 2018 and 514 farm sales for the three months ended May 2017.

There were 1453 farms sold in the year to May 2018, 18.8 per cent fewer than were sold in the year to May 2017, with 4 per cent more finishing farms, 1.7 per cent fewer dairy farms, 36.3 per cent fewer grazing and 34.3 per cent fewer arable farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to May 2018 was $26,219 compared to $27,212 recorded for the three months ended May 2017. The median price per hectare fell 4 per cent compared to April.

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REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said the 2017/18 farm sales season ended on a good note with sales figures reflecting a solid degree of confidence, albeit an easing in volumes from an annual perspective.

"The confidence referred to appears to have been carried through into attendance and purchase figures at the recent National Fieldays at Mystery Creek, reinforced by an improving dairy payout, strong markets for beef and lamb, and the continuation of lower interest rates which in turn reflect the current low-inflation economy," he said.

"Regretfully, however, the optimism stemming from an extremely benevolent autumn has been dominated by the pervasive impact of the mycoplasma bovis disease which is having a dramatic financial and social impact on many in the rural sector.''

The six Northland dairy farm sales for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $19,258/ha, up from $18,553/ha in April 2018 and $10,587/ha for sales in May last year.

Nationally, the 74 dairy farms averaging 96ha sold for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $35,901/ha, compared to $36,028/ha for the three months ended April 2018 and $34,789/ha for the three months ended May 2017.

The median price per hectare for dairy farms has increased 3.2 per cent over the past 12 months.

On a price per kilo of milksolids basis, the median sales price was $36.45kgMS for the three months ended May 2018, compared to $37.38kgMS for the three months ended April 2018 and $36.26kgMS for the three months ended May 2017.

The seven Northland finishing farm sales for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $25,769/ha, up from $24,218/ha from April 2018 and from $22,772/ha in May 2017.

The median sales price for the 145 finishing farms averaging 49ha sold nationally for the three months ended May 2018 was $29,093/ha, compared to $27,141/ha for the three months ended May 2017. The median price per hectare for finishing farms has risen 7.2 per cent over the past 12 months.

The 14 Northland grazing farm sales for the for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $10,432/ha, up from $8752/ha in April but below the $13,033/ha median for grazing farm sales in the region in May last year.

The median sales price for the 120 grazing farms averaging 125ha sold nationally for the three months ended May 2018 was $10,687/ha compared to $10,692/ha for April 2018 and $14,160/ha for May 2017. The median price per hectare for grazing farms has fallen 24.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

The five Northland horticulture properties sold for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price $200,299/ha, substantially more than the $93,973/ha regional sales median in April and ahead of the $178,602/ha median in May last year.

Nationally, the 60 horticultural property sales averaging 8ha for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $277,842/ha, compared to $278,258/ha for April sales and $181,427/ha for the three months ended May 2017.

The median price per hectare for horticulture farms has risen 53 per cent over the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, the 234 Northland lifestyle block sales for the three months ended May 2018 had a median sales price of $487,500, compared to $425,000 for April 2018 sales and the $439,500 median for May sales last year.

Nationally, there were 2129 lifestyle property sales for a median price of $675,000 in the three months ended May 2018, $48,500 higher compared with 2304 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended May 2017.