17 Mar 2011

Farm sales continue to be few

8:10 am on 17 March 2011

Rising farm returns are having little apparent effect on the depressed rural property market.

The latest Real Estate Institute figures show no improvement in farm sales over the past three months, when just over 200 farms changed hands, one less than the same period the year before.

However, the median selling price for most farm types has lifted compared with a year ago; the dairy price by more than half a million dollars to $3.5 million.

Grazing properties accounted for nearly half of the sales, and dairy farms a quarter.

The rural property market has been in the doldrums for more than a year, with fewer than half the number of farms changing hands than there have been in recent years.

Real Estate Institute rural market spokesperson Peter McDonald says buyers are interested in farm properties but they remain cautious.

He says they have also been constrained by securing finance from banks to complete the purchases.