A continuation of a fall in sales in the rural property market has been confirmed in the latest figures released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand Inc (REINZ).
REINZ President Peter McDonald says there are still reasonable levels of inquiries for all types of farms but they do not seem to be resulting in completed transactions.
The national median farm sale price remained steady at $1,045,000 for the three months to February 2010, just fractionally up on the median for the three months to January 2010. However, it is well down on the $1,750,000 recorded in the three months to February 2008.
The total number of farms sold in the three months to February 2010 was just 205 compared with 276 and 713 farms sold in the three months to February 2009 and February 2008 respectively.
“Only eleven dairy farms were sold nationwide in the month of February, which remains in line with the decline we noted in January,” says Mr McDonald.
Average price per hectare for the eleven dairy farms sold in February was $43,970 and the average size was 87.85ha, with an average of $47/kg of milk solids. The average milk solid production for these farms was 903kg/ha.
On a regional basis the greatest number of farm sales during the three months to February was 29 in the Waikato followed by 28 in Canterbury. Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of farms by type, with 89 sales recorded throughout the country in the three months to February 2010.
But while farm sales are down, Mr McDonald says lifestyle properties continue to be standout performers, with turnover and prices bucking the trends in the residential dwelling and other rural markets. The national median selling price for lifestyle properties in the three months to February 2010 was $438,000, down $17,000 on the median price for the three months to January 2010 of $455,000. This compares with $445,000 and $455,000 in the three months to February 2009 and 2008 respectively.
Median prices were highest in Auckland at $700,000, with the most modest prices for lifestyle properties to be found on the West Coast ($150,000). Five regions experienced an increase in the median selling price for a lifestyle property, while eight districts recorded decreases, and the median remained the same in the Hawkes Bay.
A total of 1,105 lifestyle properties were sold in the three months to February 2010 compared with 1,213 in the three months to January 2010; well up on the 877 sold in the three months to February 2009.