17 Jun 2015

Farm sales down, but median price up

8:46 am on 17 June 2015

Farm sales are down from this time last year - but prices are up nearly 15 percent.

Figures from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand show 502 farms sold in the three months to May - compared with 485 during the same period last year.

The median price per hectare for farms sold in those three months is up from $25,000 last year, to $28,500 this year.

The institute's rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke said the figures showed a cautious confidence among farmers, who were holding on to their land because they still saw it as a good investment.

"What we're seeing is a fairly solid finish to what is the traditional selling year, [which is] largely determined by beginning of June being when dairy farms change hands.

"So given that scenario, the number of properties that have changed hands in the last month or so have been surprisingly strong - and that's not just dairy, but grazing and finishing properties as well.

"We're seeing a tailing off in total volumes but I think what that's reflecting is that the farming job has been quite reasonable up until now and there has been a shortage of supply considering what the demand is like.

"So it's more that there just have not been enough properties available for the demand that's there."

The median price per hectare for dairy farms was just over $35,000 - up from $33,500 for the three months to May last year.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs