19 Dec 2012

Rising confidence in rural property sector - Institute

7:03 am on 19 December 2012

The Real Estate Institute says rising confidence in the rural property market has helped lift farm sales and prices as the year and the spring selling season draw to a close.

The Institute says there were 25 more farm sales for the three months ending in November than for the October period, representing an increase of around 10%.

Farm sales for the year are also up by almost a quarter on 2011 and prices have also lifted.

The Institute's rural market spokesperson, Brian Peacocke, says some regions have reported the strongest level of activity in five years.

He says first farm buyers, especially sharemilkers, are also more active in regions such as Waikato and Taranaki, spurred by low interest rates and the high value of dairy livestock.

As well, he says, sharemilking jobs are scarcer, leading some 50/50 sharemilkers to decide the time is right to purchase their own farm.

Mr Peacocke says lifestyle block sales have also risen by almost a quarter on what they were a year ago with the most noticeable increases in Waikato and Canterbury.

In the case of Canterbury, he says there's been a post-earthquake factor at work.

"Now that people are getting paid out on their insurance claims for damaged homes they have an ability to purchase and that extra activity is stimulating the areas handy to Christchurch city or particularly a little bit north of Christchurch city."