Farm sales fell in May from April and were 62% below the average May sales figures for the previous four May months, figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) show. There were 97 farms sold nationwide in May, down from the 108 in April, but above sales in each of January (73), February (75) and March (83). The REINZ releases figures that show the last three months' sales combined, and not just for the month being reported on. These showed that there were 288 farm sales in the three months to May, up from the 266 in the three months to April (an increase of 22). What this shows is that there were 22 more sales in May than there were in February (which had 75). At interest.co.nz we recalculate sales volumes for separate months. Dairy farm sales increased to 22 in May from 20 in both April and March. There were 41 and 51 dairy farm sales in May 2008 and 2007, respectively. The median dairy farm sale price was NZ$3,750,000 in the three months to May, compared to NZ$3,200,000 in the three months to April and NZ$4,050,000 in the period to May 2008. However, it should be noted that at such low sales levels, the median price can be distorted.
The median sale price for all farms was NZ$1,150,000 in the three months to May, from NZ$1,042,500 in April and NZ$1,860,000 in May 2008. The median remained above May levels seen up to 2007. The fall in total sales over the month was led by a fall in grazing farm sales, from 51 in April to 38 in May (down from 96 in May 2008 and 120 in May 2007). The median sale price for grazing farms was NZ$912,500 in May, compared to NZ$817,000 in April and NZ$1,380,000 in May 2008. Regionally, Northland (14 sales total), Waikato (14), Hawkes Bay (7), Wellington (2), West Coast (5), Canterbury (14) and Southland (11) all had slight increases in farm sales in May from April. The West Coast was the only region to have more sales in May 2009 than in May 2008, with 5 instead of 4. Sales in the Waikato were down from 36 in May 2008 (and 24 in May 2007), while sales in Canterbury were down from 45 in the two previous May months. Commenting on the figures regarding the three months to May, REINZ rural spokesman Peter McDonald said the steady increase (from the March and April periods) was "very pleasing." "Although we have a way to go to return to the turnover we were seeing at this time two and three years ago when sales were in the 600 "“ 700 range, the fact we are not trending down is good to see," McDonald said.