The Country's Jamie Mackay had an important question for this month's rural property report - are farms worth less now than they were this time a year ago?

The GM of PGG Wrightson Real Estate Peter Newbold reckons that's a question without a simple yes or no answer and that certain factors have to be considered.

"Yes in some sectors it is, but again you have to look at location ... what tier of property etc. but yes there have been some declines in some of the sectors but then others have gone the other way if you look at horticulture for example."

Mackay says the dairy industry is "in a bit of a holding pattern," due to Mycoplasma bovis, as people wait to see how the cattle disease will play out.


Newbold predicts "a little bit of movement" this year for dairy but says that bigger units still bring up challenges, while support blocks and grazing blocks are seeing an increase in demand as people try to protect their farms from Mycoplasma bovis.

Listen below:

"If you look at last year that sector was slow in sales ... our feeling is that when we come into early spring, we'll see more sales in that part of the market."

Newbold says the current Government and the Overseas Investment Office are influencing the rural property market "especially when you get into the larger and more specifically dairy units because they're big, they're expensive and a lot of New Zealanders don't have the means to actually buy some of those properties."

Also in today's interview: Peter Newbold takes a look at sheep/beef and horticulture prices.