16 Mar 2010

Buyers hold off purchasing farms

5:12 pm on 16 March 2010

The Real Estate Institute (REINZ) expects some buyers are holding off purchasing farms until prices fall further.

The latest statistics from the institute shows the median price for farms remained steady at $1.05 million in the three months to February, but is well down on the $1.75 million recorded in the same period a year earlier.

However, the total number of farms sold during that time fell to 205, down from 276 farms sold during the same period last year and 713 in the same quarter two years ago.

REINZ president Peter McDonald says it appeared for a time that banks were showing an unwillingness to lend to rural buyers, but this has been short-lived.

However, Mr McDonald says it is still not resulting in sales and that is an indication that people might be holding off.

The decline in dairy farm sales noted in January continued into February, with only 11 farms sold during that month, he says.