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Rural farm sales climb 66% in strong yearly finish

Friday 20th January 2012

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New Zealand farm sales climbed 66 percent in the December quarter, lead by strong growth in the Canterbury region and off-shore buying.

The number of farms sold rose 66 percent to 353 in the three months ended Dec. 31 when compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. The median price per hectare for all farms sold fell $3,230 to $20.445.

“Rural property sales have had a strong finish to 2011 reflecting the very good growing conditions across the country,” said Brian Peacocke, rural market spokesman for REINZ. “We have also seen the emergence of off-shore buyers, mainly from Europe, acquiring properties in both Canterbury and other regions, although this comes after extensive due diligence and securing OIO approvals in the six to twelve months prior to purchase.”

Eight regions recorded an increase in sales for the three months ended Dec. 31, with Canterbury again showing the largest rise up 18 percent, followed by Waikato and Southland both up 8 percent. The largest fall was recorded in Northland, with sales down 7 percent. This was followed by Gisborne and Wellington, down 4 percent and Auckland which fell one percent.

The lifestyle property market also saw a steady increase in the number of sales, rising 16 percent when compared to the three months ended December 2010. The national medium price for lifestyle blocks rose seven percent.

“The lifestyle market continues to be patchy with purchases well informed and generally focused on price over other considerations,” Peacocke said. “Vendors with high price expectations are revising their sales in strategists to gain traction with purchasers, a situation that is not expected to change in the short term.”


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