19 Oct 2009

Fewer farms sold in September quarter

11:40 am on 19 October 2009

The number of farms sold during the three months to September fell slightly to 178, five fewer than in the three months to August.

The Real Estate Institute figure shows a large drop in sales compared to the September 2008 quarter, when 430 farms were sold.

The institute's national president, Peter McDonald, says while sales normally start to increase during September and October, wet weather this year and resulting muddy paddocks are likely to set that back by another six weeks.

Mr McDonald says demand for dairy farms appears to be improving, however, as a result of the lift in milk powder prices.

While there hasn't yet been an increase in the number of dairy properties sold, he says, the level of inquiry has been strong.

The greatest sales activity in the three months to September has come from grazing properties, with about 100 changing hands.

Horticulture was the next busiest rural sector with 30 properties selling over the three months.