Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) figures for farm sales in October show sales hit a record low 46 nationally in October, equal to the previous record low of 46 hit in January this year and down 42% from the 79 farms sold a year ago.
There were just 4 dairy farms sold in New Zealand in October and no farms were sold in Southland.
Farm sales had fallen to fewer than half the numbers achieved in recent years, but the median sale price is up on the same time last year, the REINZ said in its release titled "Rural Property Market Remains Quiet."
“Turnover in the rural property market is mirroring what is happening with residential sales and is continuing the trend over the last three months,” said REINZ spokesman Bryan Thomson.
“While the whole rural market is very quiet, with the positive outlook internationally for milk products we are starting to a see a new lift in interest in dairy farms,” Thomson said.
“But buyers are being very price sensitive so vendors still expecting to realize the values of two and three years ago will continue to be disappointed,” he said.
In the three months to October 147 farms were sold, down 28.3% on the 205 sold in the same three months last year and down on the 164 sold in the three months to September. There were 390 farms sold in the three months to October 2008 582 sales in the three months to October 2007.
The median farm price in the three months to October was NZ$950,000, down from the NZ$1,012,500 in the three months to September 2010 but up from NZ$875,000 in the three months to October a year ago.
Only 8 dairy farms were sold in the three months to October and the median price fell from NZ$3,163,121 at the end of September to NZ$1,700,000 for the three months to the end of October.
"However one of the four dairy farm transactions in October was a leasehold property so the selling price was considerably lower than if it had been freehold," REINZ said.
"Despite the impact of the leasehold transaction on the REINZ rural property market statistics the average price per kilogramme of milk solids recovered from NZ$30 in September 2010 to NZ$33 in October 2010, the same as in August.
Regional detail from REINZ.
"On a regional basis the most farm sales were in Manawatu/Wanganui with 21 during the three months to October. Canterbury was second with 19 farms sold and the Bay of Plenty the next highest with 16.
"As well as the decline in the number of sales, median prices for farms fell in 9 out of the 14 districts in the three months to October 2010 compared to the three months to September 2010.
While across the country the median price for the three months ending October 2010 is up $75,000 on the same three months in 2009, during the past year median prices for farms have declined in 7 out of the 14 districts.
For the three months to October 2010 compared to the corresponding period in 2009, farm sale prices were down in Auckland from $903,000 to $613,000, Waikato from $1,462,500 to $1,400,000, Bay of Plenty from $1,000,000 to $962,500, Hawkes Bay from $1,200,000 to $856,000, Taranaki $1,000,000 to $390,000, Manawatu/Wanganui from $1,190,000 to $1,145,000, and Wellington from $1,810,000 to $1,000,000.
However when compared to the same three months to October 2009 there have been increases in median prices this year in Northland (from $490,000 to $741,250), Gisborne (from $850,000 to $1,240,000) and all the South Island regions (Nelson from $700,000 to $$1,565,000, West Coast from $103,634 to $677,500, Canterbury from $995,000 to $1,000,000, Otago from $527,500 to $670,000 and Southland from $641,500 to $1,125,000) .
Sales of lifestyle properties increased slightly from 1039 for the three months to September 2010, to 1053 for the three months to October 2010. But at $425,000, the median selling price has continued to slip back from $427,500 at the end of September and $436,750 for the three months to the end of August and $445,000 for the three months to the end of October 2009.