Data released in January by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 256 fewer farm sales (-46.6%) for the three months ended December 2021 than for the three months ended December 2020. Overall, there were 293 farm sales in the three months ended December 2021, compared to 361 farm sales for the three months ended November 2021 (-18.8%), and 549 farm sales for the three months ended December 2020.
1,831 farms were sold in the year to December 2021, 235 more than were sold in the year to December 2020, with 84% more Dairy farms, 23.1% less Dairy Support, 7% more Grazing farms, 10% more Finishing farms and 14.7% less Arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to December 2021 was $37,980 compared to $27,320 recorded for three months ended December 2020 (+39.0%). The median price per hectare increased 0.7% compared to November 2021. The REINZ All Farm Price Index increased 2.8% in the three months to December 2021 compared to the three months to November 2021. Compared to the three months ending December 2020 the A healthy close to 2021 REINZ All Farm Price Index increased 21.8%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.
One region (Otago with +6 sales) recorded an increase in the number of farm sales for the three months ended December 2021 compared to the three months ended December 2020. Manawatu-Whanganui (-46 sales) and Waikato (-45 sales) recorded the biggest decreases in sales. Compared to the three months ended November 2021, no regions recorded an increase in sales.
The REINZ Rural Spokesman says: “Sales figures for the three-month period ending December 2021 reflected an easing in volumes compared to similar periods over the last three years, with all categories being impacted.
“Logic would suggest that due to the very strong forecast for the dairy payout for the 2021- 2022 season, and particularly strong prices for beef, lamb and horticultural products, fewer rural properties have been available for sale as landowners, as would be expected, have retained properties in order to capitalise on the current high product returns.
“Nevertheless, the total volume of farm sales for the 2021 calendar year increased considerably from 2020, again reinforcing the strong demand for continuing investment in rural land, that in itself being a reflection of confidence in the agricultural sector.
“On a balancing note, however, whilst the banking sector is currently more amenable to backing soundly structured lending proposals, the inexorable grind of increasing costs, the shortage of quality labour and supply chain difficulties are well recognised constraints that continue to challenge the rural industry,” he concludes.
A light spread of dairy farm sales but a good increase in sales of finishing and grazing properties throughout Northland and the Rodney district to the north of Auckland City. Prices remain at a constant level.
Waikato/ King Country/ Taupo
An increase in dairy farm sales in December following strong results in November, with 35sales in total for the two months, and prices for well-located, quality properties exceeding previous levels. Second and third tier dairy farms, however, struggled to attract support. Finishing properties, in particular, and good grazing properties throughout the wider provincial area continue to sell very well.
Bay of Plenty/ Rotorua
Steady sales of horticulture, dairy and finishing units across the region with Rotorua featuring more strongly than in previous months; the availability of stock in the kiwifruit sector appears insufficient to meet the demand.
Gisborne/ Hawkes Bay
Registrable activity across both districts in the arable, finishing and grazing sectors, with steady sales in the Hawkes Bay horticulture sector covering apples and grapes; Central Hawkes Bay contributed across each category including a well-sold dairy property in the Ashley Clinton district.
Good results with a solid lift in dairy farm sales, predominantly in the South Taranaki district, but well-spread sales of finishing and grazing properties across the province.
Manawatu/ Whanganui/ Tararua
A solid range of sales of fishing and grazing units at good prices in the Ruapehu and Rangitikei districts; lighter activity across the Manawatu, but a strong surge of sales across all categories with good prices achieved in the Tararua district. Horowhenua held up their hand up with sales of dairy support and equestrian properties.
Consistent sales of finishing and grazing properties across the Wairarapa district; quiet in the neighbouring Wellington region.
Nelson/ Tasman/ Marlborough
Tasman district held the honours with good results in the finishing, grazing, horticulture, arable, dairy and forestry sectors, constrained results in the Marlborough district during December.
Canterbury/ West Coast
A strong performance throughout Canterbury province with a good level of sales at solid prices with dairy, dairy support, finishing, arable and grazing properties, with Selwyn, Ashburton and Timaru districts to the fore. West Coast registered a good-sized dairy farm sale in the Buller district.
Consistently solid sales of grazing properties throughout the province, supported by more constrained results on finishing and arable units.
Well spread activity across the province with an increase in total sales at good prices in the dairy, dairy support, finishing, grazing and arable categories.
In December 2021, Finishing farms accounted for a 29% share of all sales. Grazing farms accounted for 22% of all sales, Dairy farms accounted for 17% of all sales and Horticulture farms accounted for 15% of all sales. These four property types accounted for 83% of all sales during the three months ended December 2021.
Source: REINZ Rural Press Release, 25 January 2022
These articles were featured in Lifestyle & Rural Property Focus, Issue 1 2022