Rural property is in demand with farm sales volumes up 45% compared to a year ago, and lifestyle block sales volumes up 71%.
The latest rural sales figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show 378 farms were sold in the three months ended October, compared to 260 in the same period of last year.
However over the 12 months to the end of October the number of sales was almost unchanged from the previous 12 months.
Prices were slightly softer overall, with the REINZ All Farms Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of farms sold by type, size and location, declining by 1.7% in the three months to October compared to the same period of last year.
Dairy farm prices were particularly weak, with the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index down by 14.9% for the three months to October compared to a year earlier.
"Sales statistics for the three month period ending October 2020 reflect an easing in volumes from the previous quarter but a healthy 45% increase in sales from the equivalent period in both 2018 and 2019," REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
"Finishing properties remain the dominant category, followed closely by grazing farms with dairy farm sales a distant fifth behind both horticulture and arable sales," he said.
"Irrespective of those placings, the overall pastoral sector within rural New Zealand appears to be in good health, a reassuring factor given the heavy damage caused to other sectors in the economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Spring conditions throughout much of the country are the most favourable experienced for many years, with most regions, albeit not all, reporting reasonable levels of rain and very good grass growing conditions, these being early indicators of a productive season ahead."
Sales of lifestyle blocks were even stronger than those of farms, with 2839 lifestyle properties selling in the three months ended October, which was up 71% compared to the same period of last year.
The median selling price over the three months to October was $775,000, up 11.5% compared to the same period of last year.
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