20 Aug 2015

Farm sales falling, latest figures show

4:59 pm on 20 August 2015

Farm sales are continuing to fall but there is no sign of a surge of dairy farms hitting the market, the latest rural property figures show.

Water trough

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The Real Estate Institute figures show 79 fewer farms were sold in the three months ending 31 July compared with the same time last year, a drop of 15 percent to 433 farms.

Rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said while there were anecdotal reports of more dairy farmers trying to sell up, that had not shown up in the statistics.

"I guess what we're hearing is speculative comment . Until such time as things actually happen it's very hard to get a handle on where it is," he said.

"Naturally enough when we get a drop in income for the dairy industry that we've seen with the latest Fonterra announcement you're going to expect that some people will be rationalising their positions and they will be having in some instances conversations with their bankers.

"So at this stage I'd say it's still steady as it goes and a lot of assessment being done around the traps."

Mr Peacocke said he would expect any marked increase in dairy farm sales to show up later in the year.

"If there's going to be a sudden surge we expect to see it in October and November, so that'll be the time when reality will come forward one way or the other."