15 Apr 2009

Farm sales slow, lifestyle property prices steady

8:11 am on 15 April 2009

Farm sales continue to slow, however lifestyle property values are holding up, according to latest figures from the Real Estate Institute.

The median price for farms is continuing to settle back at the level seen before last year's price spike which was caused by the high dairy payout.

The median farm price for the three months to March was $1,175,000, some $20,000 below the figure of years ago.

Turnover remains slow with just 231 properties changing hands in the rural sector in the three months to March, a big drop from the 717 properties sold in the same period last year.

However median prices for lifestyle properties held steady at $448,500, very little below the $450,000 figure in the corresponding period in 2008.

The institute's rural spokesperson, Peter McDonald, says buyers have more confidence now that Fonterra seems to have settled on a final forecast payout of $5.10 per kilo of milk solids.

Mr McDonald says on-farm costs, such as the price of fertiliser, have fallen, which is also helping farmers with their budgeting.