Farm and lifestyle block sales are well down compared to a year ago, according to the latest Real Estate Institute of NZ figures.
They show that in the three months to the end of June the number of farm sales was down 7% compared to the same period of last year.
On an annual basis the decline was even worse, with the number of sales in the 12 months to June down 17% compared to the previous 12 months, with the biggest declines occurring for grazing farms -28% and arable farms -25% and smaller declines for finishing farms -3.2% and dairy farms -1.2%.
There were mixed signals on prices though, with the median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to the end of June down 16.3% compared to the same period of last year, while the REINZ ALL Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size, type and location was up 3.7% over the same period.
The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index was down 11.5% in the three months to June compared to the same period of last year.
REINZ Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke said there was an encouraging degree of resilience in the rural market although Mycoplasma bovis remained an issue.
"Rural New Zealand has embarked upon the winter in good shape with solid confidence after a very short autumn, forecasts of a good dairy payout and ongoing optimism for export returns from beef, lamb and horticulture," he said.
"On a precautionary note, the pervading presence of Mycoplasma bovis remains the dominant biosecurity issue, with outbreaks continuing to have a devastating impact on those farming and rural businesses affected.
"Early spring 2018, when dairy and beef animals are likely to be under maximum stress, is anticipated to be the real test for the government and industry-backed eradication programme.
There has also been a significant decline in sales of lifestyle blocks which were down 4.5% in the three months to June compared to the same period of last year.
On an annual basis, the number of lifestyle blocks sold in the 12 months to June was down 14.8% compared to the previous 12 months.
"Volatility and inconsistency in sales volumes are the standout features of the current market, with gains achieved in May after a tepid April being lost again in June," Peacocke said.
More details, including average price/ha by region, are here.