The rural property market continues to gain strength with sales of both farms and lifestyle blocks up strongly compared to a year ago.
The latest rural sales figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show there were 466 farm sales in the three months to the end of April, up 89% compared to the same period of last year.
In the 12 months to the end of April, 1677 farms were sold throughout the country, up 45% compared to the previous 12 months with most farm types showing a substantial lift in sales.
Sales of dairy farms were particularly strong, up 120% for the year, with dairy support units up 84%, grazing farm sales up 21% and and finishing farm sales up 54%.
There were 58 dairy farm sales in the month of April alone, which was the highest number of sales for any month of the year since December 2013. The sales come against the backdrop of rising milk price forecasts.
Arable farms were the exception with their sales down 12% for the year.
Prices were also firmer, with the REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of farms sold by size, location and type, up 3.1% over the three months to April compared to the same period of last year.
Prices were particularly strong for dairy farms, with the REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index up 13.8% in the three months to April compared to the same period of last year.
"Improving product prices, particularly for the dairy and horticulture sectors are part of the story, but of equal significance is the fact that after several years of boardroom-induced restrictions, most banks have for the last six months been coming back into the rural market," REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said.
"The mix of this support, backed up by a low interest rates regime, has assisted in a positive way, purchasing decisions for those farmers with the necessary performance and equity credentials to expand their operations," he said.
The lifestyle block market was just as strong, with the REINZ recording 2513 lifestyle property sales in the three months to April, up 71% compared to the same period of last year.
Prices were also up sharply, with the median selling price for all lifestyle properties hitting $890,000 over the three month to April, up by $181,000 (+25.5%) compared to a year earlier, while the median selling price for undeveloped (bare land) lifestyle properties was $450,000, up 36.4% over the same period.
The interactive chart below shows the monthly sales trend for all farm types.
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More detailed monthly sales data is available here.
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