The rural property market has had a lucklustre spring, with farm sales down 26% in the three months to October compared to the same period of last year.
The drop in the number of properrties sold was caused by declines in sales of horticultural properties (-42%), graziing blocks (-51%) and arable farms (-28%), while sales of dairy, finishing and and forestry blocks posted modest gains.
However things were more robust on the price front, with the REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm type, location and size, up 7.3% for the three months to October compared to the same peiod of last year.
REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said the low sales volumes reflected the diffcult winter/early spring conditions, when much of the country experienced record rainfall.
However this summer could see a high number of dairy farms being sold, with early evidence pointing to record numbers of dairy units being listed for sale in the main dairying areas of Waikato and Southland.
According to the REINZ, the the rush of new listings was promprted by a variery of issues including: estate planning as older farmers prepare to retire; frustration caused by climate related issues and difficulties finding suitable labour, and a feeling that they should sell while the dairy payout was reasonably high.
The REINZ Diary Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size and location, was up 9.2% in the three months to October compared to the same period of last year.
The lifestyle block market is also softer than it was a year ago, with the number of lifestyle properties sold in the three months to October down 14% compared to the same period last year.
However the median price of lifestyle blocks sold was up 13% on a year ago.
Peacocke said the lifestyle market had steadied to a degree, although October figures were softer than for the previous two months.
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