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February rural data: Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) report highlights significant changes in farm sales. 

5 April 2024

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Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) paints a revealing picture of the agricultural real estate market, showcasing notable shifts in the volume of farm sales over the past year.

According to the report, there were 104 fewer farm sales (-32.3%) for the three months ended February 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. This decline in transactions is part of a broader trend, with overall farm sales totalling 218 in the three months to February 2024, down from 236 in January 2024 (-7.6%) and 322 in February 2023.

REINZ Rural Spokesperson, Shane O’Brien commented that the low volume of sales was a continued trend over the preceding nine months as buyers took a cautious approach to buying land in all sectors across New Zealand. 

“The lower volume of sales was anticipated as buyers reacted to higher interest costs, environmental compliance, and poor farm product prices. The very dry conditions across much of the upper South Island is also impacting buyers and sellers as they focus on on-farm activities during these months.”  

In terms of annual figures, 942 farms were sold in the year to February 2024, marking a decrease of 436 from the previous year. The decline was particularly pronounced in the dairy sector, with 39.8% fewer dairy farms sold over the same period.

O’Brien commented that the median sale prices are showing market fundamentals are sound.

“Although the market is sound, sellers need to realise that there isn’t the depth of buyers or buyer confidence of the preceding two years. Buyers will need to position their properties in the market accordingly with that in mind.”

“While there is some confidence returning to the dairy sector on the back of the lift in farmgate milk prices, this is yet to flow through to a noticeable increase in sales activity in the dairy and dairy support sectors.”

Despite the decrease in sales volume, the median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to February 2024 was $28,140, reflecting a modest decrease of 8.5% compared to February 2023.

Shane O’Brien, commented on the market dynamics, stating in February 2024, Finishing farms accounted for a 27% share of all sales, followed by Grazing farms at 24%, Dairy farms at 21%, and Arable farms at 7%. These four property types collectively accounted for 79% of all sales during the period."

Key Highlights by Farm Type:

Dairy Farms
  • Median sales price per hectare: $38,620
  • Median dairy farm size: 130 hectares
  • Median price per kilo of milk solids: $38.21
  • REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index: Decreased by 1.9% compared to January 2024

Finishing Farms
  • Median sales price per hectare: $35,660Median finishing farm size: 37 hectares

Grazing Farms:
  • Median sales price per hectare: $13,230
  • Median grazing farm size: 133 hectares

Horticulture Farms:
  • Median sales price per hectare: $218,175
  • Median horticulture farm size: 9133 hectares

The report also highlights regional variations, with Northland recording an increase in farm sales, while Manawatu-Whanganui and Waikato experienced the biggest decreases.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index, which adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, decreased by 2.4% in the three months to February 2024 compared to January 2024 and by 10.6% compared to February 2023.


About REINZ:

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) is the professional body representing the real estate industry in New Zealand. It provides up-to-date, accurate information on real estate trends and statistics to inform industry professionals and the public alike.

For media queries, please contact [email protected] 

For further details and insights, please visit



Real Estate Institute of New Zealand

For more real estate information and market trends data, visit For New Zealand's most comprehensive range of listings for residential, lifestyle, rural, commercial, investment and rental properties, visit - REINZ's official property directory website.

Notes to Editors:

The information provided by REINZ in relation to the rural real estate market covers the most recently completed three-month period; thus, references to January 2024 refer to the period from 1 November 2023 to 31 January 2024.

The REINZ Farm Price Indices have been developed in conjunction with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.  It adjusts sale prices for property specific factors such as location, size and farm type which can affect the median $/hectare calculations and provides a more accurate measure of farm price movements.  The REINZ Farm Price Indices have been calculated with a base of 1,000 for the three months ended March 1996.  The REINZ Farm Price Indices is best utilised in assessing percentage changes over various time periods rather than trying to apply changes in the REINZ Farm Price Index to specific property transactions.

From March 2021 there has been a change in the methodology for calculating rural statistics. To date, the rural statistics have referred to a Return Period which is the month in which a sale record was submitted to REINZ. Going forward, the rural statistics will refer to an Unconditional Month i.e., the month in which the sale went unconditional. This change in methodology ensures that sales that took place in April, for instance, are recorded against April even if they were submitted to REINZ late. The change also brings Rural statistics calculation into line with the Residential statistics calculation, where the Unconditional Month approach has been used successfully to calculate Residential Statistics for several years now. The Unconditional Month methodology also ensures that the most up-to-date state of the REINZ database is reported at the time the data is released with revision of prior months’ statistics often occurring to reflect the submission of late data or sale amendments that took place after the prior statistics release. 

In addition to the calculation period change there are two additional changes to the data worth noting:

1. 12 Districts have been replaced by 13 Regions. These are consistent with the parts of the residential press release and it has been done to be consistent with regional definitions outside REINZ e.g., Statistics NZ
2. Dairy Support is a new farm category and we now have the ability to separate Lifestyle Blocks into Bareland and Farmlets.

If you have any questions regarding this change in methodology, please email [email protected].