Sale activity down at the farm has continued the buoyant pattern of recent months.
Overall prices were down a little compared with a year ago - due to slightly lower grazing farm prices - but dairy farm prices were up.
Data released by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 66 more farm sales (+16.2%) for the three months ended April 2017 than for the three months ended April 2016.
Overall, there were 473 farm sales in the three months ended April 2017, compared to 438 farm sales for the three months ended March 2017 (+8.0%), and 407 farm sales for the three months ended April 2016. 1,815 farms were sold in the year to April 2017, 5.0% more than were sold in the year to April 2016, with 20% more dairy farms and 11% fewer grazing farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to April 2017 was $28,368 compared to $30,000 recorded for three months ended April 2016 (-5.4%). The median price per hectare rose 3.1% compared to March.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index rose 1.1% in the three months to April 2017 compared to the three months to March 2017. Compared to April 2016 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose 5.9%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.
10 regions recorded increases in sales volume for the three months ended April 2017 compared to the three months ended April 2016. Waikato recorded the largest increase in sales (+29 sales), followed by Otago (+17 sales) and Taranaki (+13 sales). Compared to the three months ended March 2017, eight regions recorded an increase in sales.
“Sales figures for the three month period ending 30 April 2017 confirm confidence in the rural sector, with a significant lift in volumes from 12 months ago”, says REINZ Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke, “The continuation of high rainfall during April has been a major boost for farmers in many regions around the country but has proved to be a problem in other areas with considerable flooding and interruption of seasonal harvesting.”
“Dairy sector morale moves in tandem with the strengthening milk price, albeit volatility remains an issue, and beef farmers are experiencing strong results, particularly those selling weaner beef cattle in sale-yards around the country. The moist autumn has frustrated some in the arable sector as ground conditions for harvesting maize crops, in particular, has been an issue, with heavy rain washing out some recently re-grassed areas. Such conditions have also been an impediment for parts of the horticulture and viniculture sectors.”
In contrast to farm sales, the sales of lifestyle blocks were down on those of a year ago.
The REINZ data on these shows there were 220 fewer lifestyle property sales (-9.3%) for the three months ended April 2017 than for the three months ended April 2016. Overall, there were 2,156 lifestyle property sales in the three months ended April 2017, compared to 2,011 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended March 2017 (+7.2%), and 2,376 lifestyle property sales for the three months ended April 2016.
8,745 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to April 2017, 26 (+0.3%) more than were sold in the year to April 2016. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $6.84 billion for the year to April 2017.
The median price for all lifestyle properties sold in the three months to April 2017 reached a new record high of $635,000 and was $72,500 higher compared to the three months ended April 2016 (+12.9%).
“Sales data for the three month period ending 30 April 2017 confirms that values have reached another peak, but the market has experienced a considerable reduction in volumes during April 2017 of approximately 35 % from the figures recorded during the previous month. All regions apart from Gisborne and the West Coast have experienced such reductions”, says Peacocke.