19 Feb 2014

Farm properties keenly sought

3:03 pm on 19 February 2014

High milk prices and improved red meat returns are helping to drive the strong demand for farms.

The latest figures from the Real Estate Institute show farm sales are continuing to rise.

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Photo: PHOTO NZ

The number of properties that changed hands in the three months to the end of January is more than 40 percent up on the same period a year ago.

For the year to the end of January farm sales are more than 23 percent higher, the highest in five years.

The price index covering all farm types also rose, by 9.6 percent on a year ago.

The Institute's rural spokesperson, Brian Peacock, says most regions are seeing solid demand for farms and not just dairy properties.

He says demand for sheep and beef farms is strong on the east coast of the North Island and Canterbury, Otago and Southland.

He says a lot is being driven by the dairy industry with dairy farmers buying up sheep and beef farms as support properties, which then frees up sheep and beef farmers to buy into other areas at a lower price.

Demand for lifestyle blocks also remains strong, with the median price reaching a new high of $535,000.