The number of dairy farm sales has slumped even though prices appear to be holding up

The number of dairy farm sales has slumped even though prices appear to be holding up

There was a slump in the volume of dairy farm sales in November, according to the latest rural sales data from the Real Estate Institute of NZ.

Only eight dairy farms were sold throughout the entire country in November, compared to 30 in November last year and 36 in November 2017. On an annual basis, dairy farm sales were down 44% in the 12 months to the end of November compared to a year earlier.

However while the number of dairy farm sales is well down, prices are on the up.

The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of sales by farm location and size, was up 25% in the three months to November compared to the same period last year. But although the Index was up, the median price per hectare for dairy farms declined from $50,964 in the three months to November last year to $39,678 in the three months to November this year, a fall of 22%.

The downturn in dairy farm sales does not necessarily mean that farms are going begging for buyers though. Interest.co.nz's monitoring of dairy farm sales listings shows that the number of farms being offered for sale is substantially lower in 2019 than 2018. This is especially true in the main North Island dairy regions. So the slump in sales may simply reflect the lower number of listings, with more farmers choosing to stay put rather than sell up.

Sales of other farm types were also down but not as much as dairy farms.

Over the three months to the end of November finishing farm sales were down 23% compared to a year earlier, and grazing farms sales were down 1.6%.

Over the entire rural market, 1295 farms of all types were sold in the year to November, down 13% compared to the previous 12 months.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in the mix of sales by farm type, size and location, was down 1.4% over the three months to November compared to the same period of last year.

Sales of lifestyle blocks rose modestly, with 1806 lifestyle properties selling in the three months to the end of November, up 2.1% compared to the same period of last year.

The median price of all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to November was $700,000, up 5.3% compared to the same period of last year.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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Only 8 sales must really throw those metrics out? Index up 25%, $/ha down 22%? I'm inclined to go with $/ha if anything. Surely that REINZ index is self serving.
Either no sellers or no buyers. As a farmer I can tell you it is no buyers. If my neighbours comes on the market I'm going to low ball the f out of it. "Deadline treaties" are rolling over into "by negotiation". Bad time to go through a separation or for an equity partner to turn vegan. Don't list if at all possible is the general vibe.

What an absolute joke that a new government can produce such devastation to its biggest and single most important income earner. There has to be long term ramifications for the clowns that orchestrated such a thoughtless destruction of not only an important asset class but also a national and local cashflow that supports much of the country and thats not to mention the poor farmers and their staff and families as well as all of the supporting industries.
Its difficult to be proud to be a kiwi when you see this type of thoughtless action allowed. Time to stand up and demand the love we deserve from our fellow kiwi's.

Hate to burst your bubble but this season looks to be a bumper payout. If anything the current government is putting the long overdue brakes on idiot farm prices and lending practices. But really they don't deserve that praise as it needed to happen with or without them and they have done Jack.