The median sales price for Northland lifestyle blocks has increased from $381,000 in August 2016 to $525,000 for the 212 blocks sold in the region for the three months ended August 2018.

Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) data shows lifestyle block sale prices in the Auckland region increased from $1,205,000 to $1,255,000 over the same period.

And nationally the median price for lifestyle blocks rose from $545,000 in August 2016 to $645,000 for the 1700 blocks sold for the three months ended August 2018.

There were 7190 lifestyle properties sold in the year to August 2018 - 925 fewer than were sold in the previous year.

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Meanwhile, 38 Northland farm sales were recorded for the three months to August - 23 of them grazing properties, six finishing, two dairy, three forestry blocks, two horticulture, one arable and one special farm.

The median sales price for the 23 Northland grazing farms was $9741/ha, down from $11,326/ha a year earlier.

The median price for the 130 grazing farms averaging 141ha sold nationally for the three months to August 2018 was $10,168/ha, compared to $11,355/ha for 69 properties sold for the three months ended August 2017. The median price per hectare for grazing farms has fallen 10.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

The median sales price for the six Northland finishing farms was $21,414/ha, down from $29,442/ha a year earlier.

The median price for the 89 finishing farms averaging 41ha sold nationally for the three months to August 2018 was $28,011/ha, compared with $30,566/ha for 124 finishing farms sold for the three months to August 2017. The median price per hectare for finishing farms has fallen 8.4 per cent over the past 12 months. The median sales price for the two Northland dairy farms was $14,944/ha, down from $21,941/ha a year earlier.

The median price for the 24 dairy farms averaging 138ha sold nationally for the three months ended August 2018 was $30,830/ha, down from $37,842/ha for 26 properties sold a year earlier. The median price per hectare for dairy farms has dropped 18.5 per cent over the past 12 months. On a price per kilogram of milksolids basis, the median sales price was $31.76kgMS for the three months ended August 2018, compared with $34.95kgMS for the three months ended August 2017.

The median sales price for the two Northland horticulture properties was $165,400/ha, down from $253,330/ha for sales for the three months to July 2018.

The median price for the 39 horticulture properties averaging 9ha sold nationally for the three months ended August 2018 was $255,351/ha, compared to $158,546/ha for 46 properties sold a year earlier. The median price per hectare for horticulture farms has increased 61.1 per cent over the past 12 months.

The median sales price for the three Northland forestry blocks was $9278/ha, up from $7418/ha for regional sales in July 2018, $2521/ha for August 2017 and heading toward the $10,984/ha median for sales in August 2016. There were 14 forestry block sales nationally for a median price of $6044/ha for the three months ended August 2018.

The rare arable farm sale for Northland for the three months to August 2018 made $22,036/ha and the special farm sale made $11,284/ha.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said on-farm conditions during August had been similar to last year, with heavy rainfall creating difficult ground conditions and some pasture damage in the northern regions.

Focus on the volatility within Fonterra was causing some producers to overlook the fact that the milk price for the current season was better than last year.

Beef and sheep farmers were benefiting from very strong schedules for beef and lamb; horticultural produce was achieving record prices; interest rates and the exchange rate remained low, but the increases in fuel charges were impacting negatively on the rural sector, Peacocke said.