Latest farm sale figures show a slight pick-up in the number of dairy farms sold and the average price.
The Real Estate Institute says the median price for the 12 dairy farms sold in the three months to September, $3,163,000, was just above the August figure.
But more farms sold and the average price per hectare increased from $29,000 to almost $53,000.
Overall, the rural property market remains subdued, with total farm sales and the median price of just over $1 million slightly down on the previous three month period, but an improvement on the $877,000 median of a year ago.
There was keen interest, though, in the auction of a mid-Canterbury dairy farm this week, which went for well above its reserve price.
The 208-hectare irrigated farm at Lismore was sold for almost $9 million, or about $43,000 per hectare.
Auctioneer Peter Crean of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, says it was the first big dairy farm to go to auction in that area for some time.
He says the sale price was justified by the quality of the farm itself, but also showed the strength that the market still has, despite difficult selling conditions for rural property.