Data released today by the Real Estate Institute shows there were 64 more farms sold in March 2013 than in February, but twelve less than in March 2012.
1,433 farms were sold in the year to March 2013, 2.4% more than were sold in the year to March 2012.
“The autumn drought has been unique in that in most areas of New Zealand have been affected at the same time. However, it is clear that despite widespread drought conditions, the level of activity around the country indicates an underlying level of confidence in the medium to longer term,” said REINZ rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to March 2013 was $22,317, up 1.7% from February and an 11.3% increase on the $20,056 recorded for three months ended March 2012.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index eased by 1.1% in the three months to March compared to the three months to February, from 2,939.42 to 2,907.18. Compared to March 2012 the REINZ All Farm Price Index actually fell by 7.2%.
Clearly the drought was no inhibition to farm sales in March. 41 dairy farms sold in March 2013 compared to just 20 in the same month a year earlier and a majority of the units sold this year were in the Waikato.
Over all farm types, the regions with the strongest sales trends from a year ago were the three most northern - Northland, Auckland and the Waikato. In Taranaki, Canterbury and Southland March 2013 sales were much weaker than a year ago.
Peacocke said "March has featured some interesting developments, with good activity in the dairy sector in the top half of the North Island, although some areas report a shortage of listings due to drought conditions. There has also been strong demand and a shortage of supply of maize growing and dairy support properties in the Waikato.”
“Further south we are seeing good activity on sheep and beef properties in Hawkes Bay and across the full range of properties in Taranaki. There has been very good activity on larger scale dairy units in Canterbury where sheep and beef farmers are finding North Canterbury land more cost effective as good drystock properties further south are being purchased for dairy support. Southland is seeing good finishing properties being purchased by neighbouring dairy farmers and corporate interest in larger scale dairy farms,” said Peacocke.
Dairy, finishing and grazing properties accounted for 85% of all sales activity, a similar level to the same month a year ago.
More detail on prices paid for hectare by region can be found here »
Listings of most working farms currently for sale can be found here »