Farm sale volumes for the three month period ending September 2018 continue to ease in comparison to the same period 12 months ago, and are down by a significant 35 per cent compared to two years ago.

Areduction in Northland farm sales to 34 for the three months ended September 2018 from 48 for the same period last year was the most substantial regional sales decline in the country, according to data released by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

Northland finishing farms were the main sector affected, with sales falling from 16 for a median price of $28,629/ha last year to three for $21,722/ha in the latest figures.

Nationally, there were 74 finishing farms sold for a median price of $32,412/ha for the three months ended September 2018 and 103 sold for $30,828/ha in the same period last year — a price increase of 5.1 per cent.

Advertisement

It was a different story for dairy farms, for which the median price per hectare dropped 18.3 per cent nationally over the past 12 months from $37,812/ha for 22 properties sold for the three months ended September 2017 to $30,876/ha for 14 dairy farms averaging 178ha in the latest sales figures.

On a price per kilogram of milksolids basis the median sales price for dairy farms nationally was $30.65kgMS for the three months ended September 2018, down 16.7 per cent on $36.78kgMS for the same period last year.

In Northland, the two dairy farms sold for the three months ended September 2018 had a median price of $16,727/ha, down from $18,042/ha for the two sold in the same period last year.

'Economic issues beyond the farm gate, both political and financial, continue to impact with the positives being offset by the negatives'

SHARE THIS QUOTE:

There were 19 Northland grazing farms sold for the three months ended September 2018, fetching a median price of $10,540/ha, down from $11,326/ha for the 19 sold in the region at the same time last year. The median price per hectare for grazing farms has dropped 0.8 per cent nationally in the past 12 months.

Despite price setbacks for the latest Northland finishing, dairy and grazing farm sales, returns for two arable farms, four forestry blocks, three horticulture properties and a special farm kept the median price per hectare of $14,323 for the 34 farms sold for the three months ended September 2018 ahead of the $13,427/ha for the 48 regional sales in the same period last year.

The two arable farms fetched $26,459/ha, the forestry blocks made $10,379/ha, the horticulture properties $193,517/ha and the special farm $11,282/ha.

Nationally, there were 250 farm sales in the three months ended September 2018, compared to 271 farm sales for the same period last year. The median price per hectare for all farms sold nationally in the three months to September 2018 was $25,447, down from $27,363/ha recorded for the three months ended September 2017.

REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said: "Farm sale volumes for the three months period ending September 2018 continue to ease in comparison to the same period 12 months ago, and are down by a significant 35 per cent compared to two years ago."

He considered the easing trend was likely to end over the next two months, so long as there were sufficient purchasers available.

"Reflecting on the extremely difficult on-farm conditions experienced 12 months ago, the early spring of 2018 to date has been one of the best for a number of years, with sufficient rain to stimulate grass growth which has resulted in corresponding increases in production," Peacocke said.

But cautious operators were maintaining a close watch on rainfall figures as they factored in the possibility of a dry period ahead.

"Economic issues beyond the farm gate, both political and financial, continue to impact with the positives being offset by the negatives, but the underlying factors of volatility as that relates to the mix of erosion of income, compliance demands and suitable labour are sufficient to keep the rural sector constantly on guard," Peacocke said.

Meanwhile, 181 Northland lifestyle blocks sold for a median price of $495,000 for the three months ended September 2018, down from the $525,000 median for August sales but still ahead of the $485,000 median for sales for September last year.

This followed the trend for 1604 lifestyle block sales nationally for a median price of $643,500 for the three months ended September 2018, down from $645,000 for August sales but ahead of the $595,000 median for sales for September last year.