Farm sales and prices were largely flat in January although dairy farm prices are on the rise, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.
The REINZ said 521 farms of all types were sold throughout the country in the three months to January, compared to 499 for the three months to December and 532 for the three months to January 2016.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size, location and type, was up 1.6% for sales in the three months to January compared to the three months to December, and up 4.1% compared to a year earlier.
Much of that increase was likely driven by the improved fortunes of the dairy industry, with the median price per hectare of dairy farms up 13% over the last 12 months.
The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index, which also adjusts for differences in dairy farm size and location, rose 5.2% in the three months to January compared to the three months to December, and was up 8.6% compared to the three months to January last year.
Sales volumes in the dairy and grazing categories have been reasonably consistent," REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
"However volumes in other categories, particularly finishing, arable and horticulture, have experienced distinct reductions during the month of January.
"Current concerns in the rural sector centre on volatility of income, compliance issues and drought conditions in northern and eastern districts of both the North and South Islands.
"Caution and uncertainty continue to be ongoing components of the marketplace.
"This is causing some frustration with transactions taking longer to come together," he said.
Here is the REINZ's full rural report for January: