REINZ data released in January 2021 show that 1,462 farms were sold in the year to December 2020, 15.6% more than were sold in the year to December 2019, with 26.2% more Dairy farms, 9.6% less Grazing farms, 32.0% more Finishing farms and 23.8% less Arable farms sold over the same period.“Sales figures for the 3-month period ending 31 December 2020 reflect a further consolidation in the results which have been emerging in recent months, with dairy in particular achieving the strongest December since 2017,” says the rural spokesman at REINZ.
“As is always the case, climate is the uncontrollable variable, so it was regretful that heavy rain and hail in the South Island in December caused flooding to pastureland and severe damage to horticultural crops in both the Central Otago and Nelson/ Marlborough regions.”
“However, it is an ill wind that blows no good so for many other parts of the country, late spring/early summer rainfall has been an absolute bonus, with numerous farmers heading into one of their better seasons for years.
“Of particular encouragement is the resilience of the dairy industry with current Global Dairy Trade Auctions being positive enough to encourage Fonterra to increase both its mid-season price and the forecast for the end of season payment – extremely positive for the dairy industry and for the overall economy.”
“The flip side of the equation is that schedule prices for beef in particular, and lamb, are being impacted negatively. Returns for both products are under pressure due to the mix of supply chain issues and the temperamental nature of the EEC and the Chinese markets, to the extent that margins for spring-purchased cattle are likely to be quite thin.”
“Those issues, COVID-19 and the shortage of labour aside, the rural economy appears to be in reasonable heart,” he concludes. 8,887 lifestyle properties were sold in the year to December 2020, 1,828 (25.9%) more than were sold in the year to December 2019. The value of lifestyle properties sold was $8.15 billion for the year to December 2020.
REINZ Rural Press Release – December 2020; REINZ Lifestyle
Press Release – December 2020
This article is featured in Harcourts Lifestyle & Rural Property Focus, Issue 1 2021.