Recent predictions of a surge in farms for sale weren’t borne out by the latest February Rural market statistics, the Real Estate Institute said today.
Farm sales are well below the figures for 2005, with selling prices continuing to show a long term firming trend, the REINZ National President
According to Mr Cleland, recent reports that dairy prices and the cost of Fonterra shares were resulting in more dairy farms going on the market, aren’t apparent in the latest statistics, with dairy farm sales in February 2007 being a third of what they were in February 2005.
The national median farm price for February 2007 was up to $1,195,000 compared with $1,160,000 in January and $1,030,000 in February 2005.
Sales were up slightly at 154 compared with 140 in January but well below the figure of 238 farm sales in February 2005.
In the latest month 27 dairy farms changed hands compared with 18 in January and 62 in February 2005.
Dairy farm median prices continued to be firm and although the February 2007 figure of $2,950,000 was marginally down on the January figure of $2,972,000, it remains significantly up on the February 2005 median selling price of $2,188,500.
“If the dairy farmers have had a loss of confidence they are doing a good job of not showing it. In fact we think what is most likely to happen is that farmers sit tight when prices start to weaken and are more likely to be sellers when things are buoyant. As they were in 2005.”
Mr Cleland said nothing had changed much in recent months with the strength of the dollar being an ongoing problem and fluctuations in farm gate prices being nothing new for farmers.
“We haven’t noted a shortage of buyers and the market remains pretty tight so if there was a wall of farms for sale coming our way I’m sure we could find the buyers without any real trouble.”