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Rowena Duncum from The Country caught up with Peter Newbold, PGG Wrightson General Manager for Livestock and Rural Real Estate, out on the road down south.
First up, they looked at the state of autumn listings for rural properties. Newbold reckoned they were clearing them out well.
There was still a lot of interest, especially in sheep, beef and grazing properties. However, listings would dry up as they usually did getting closer to winter, he said.
Both Duncum and Newbold agreed that grazing properties looked attractive at this time of year as farmers tried to secure grazing over the winter. Purchasing gave them some long-term security.
There was quite a bit of interest from the dairy side looking for long-term protection - and that was putting some pressure on supply, Newbold said.
Duncum asked about dairy properties in a wider sense. How were farms looking?
In Newbold's view, the year had been solid. The consensus was that there would have been a bit more activity, but people seemed to be banking the pay-out at the moment.
He said there was a sense there would be more movement this spring.
But what about lifestyle properties - the happy medium between being close to town and having a bit of space - surely a good option for farmers who were stepping back a bit and adjusting to town life, Duncum asked.
Newbold was of the opinion that lifestyle properties in provincial New Zealand would stay strong. The rural sector was in good shape generally and communities were prospering.
The challenge moving forward would be stock and availability of lifestyle properties, Newbold said.
Duncum raised the issue of succession planning, which was a huge topic, as some dairy farmers might be contemplating their last season.
Newbold agreed that people were definitely thinking about how they moved on.
There are lots of challenges around the value of properties.
Succession and retirement were big issues and people need advice, he said.
Succession planning would probably loom even larger over the next one to three years.
As a final aside, Duncum asked whether there had been any more big kiwifruit property sales.
According to Newbold, the season was winding down but there were a number of properties on the books for spring.
The kiwifruit industry was in a very strong position at the moment, but whether there would be the same volumes into next year was an open question as listings would dry up pretty quickly, Newbold said.