The rural property market is not recovering as well as expected, due to a continuing slump in dairy farm sales.
Figures from the Real Estate Institute showonly 208 properties were sold in the three months to January, compared with 305 for the same time in 2009 and 730 in 2008.
The Institute said at the end of last year it was predicting a turn-around in the sales slump by Christmas, but that has not eventuated.
While January is normally a prime selling time for dairy farms, institute president Peter McDonald says this year only seven were sold during the entire month.
If sales continue to be sluggish, he says it is likely prices will be pushed down.
The value of farm prices remained steady at a national median of $1 million.
However, it was well down when compared to the $1.5 million recorded for the three months to January 2009 and almost $1.8 million for that time in 2008.