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Dairy farm sales 'rush' falters

Tuesday 15th February 2011

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A "rush" in dairy farm sales in December failed to push on into traditionally quiet January, but the real estate industry sees some hope for "significantly more" sales in the next few months.

Last month the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) was celebrating the sale of 30 dairy farms in December.

As it published the figures for January today, REINZ rural market spokesman Peter McDonald said the rise in dairy farm sales in December had not continued into January, traditionally a slow month.

"But a considerable number of dairy properties are currently being marketed by tender or auction throughout the country and demand seems to be growing so we could see significantly more sales in March and April," McDonald said.

The latest figures showed 46 dairy farms sold in the three months to January, which was an increase on the 33 a year earlier, and compared to 43 in the three months to December.

Overall, 219 farms were sold in the latest three month period, slightly up from 208 a year earlier, with the national median farm sale price rising to $1.135 million from 1 million a year ago.

Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales by farm type, with 92 changing hands throughout the country in the three months to January.

McDonald said there was interest in all classes and categories of rural properties, with recent sales including dairy support blocks, sheep and beef grazing properties, vineyards and other horticultural units.

In the comments he made last month on the December sales, McDonald had said a "rush" of dairy property transactions in December was a huge boost for the rural sector and had brought about a significant improvement in the market.

The upturn had been due to banks re-entering the market, although they were showing a strong preference for supporting substantial buyers at the top end of the market. Transactions were also being helped by vendors leaving finance in place.



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