Farm sales

Farm gate sales hold and prices firm, but bulk lifestyle sales plunge

The rural property market started this year with a split personality with farm sales buoyant but lifestyle blocks in the doldrums

The rural property market started the year with agricultural sales figures at similar levels to a year ago, but sales of lifestyle properties declined markedly.

According to the Real Estate Institute of NZ, 489 farm properties were sold in the three months to the end of January this year, down just 3.2% from the previous year.

Dairy farm sales have been particularly strong over the past 12 months with 1,710 sales in the year to January, up 79% from the previous 12 months.

Overall prices remain firm, with the REINZ All Farm Price Index, which accounts for differences in the mix of farms sold by size, type and location, up 22.3% in January 2022 from January 2021.

Compared to December 2021, the index increased by 2.1%.

The REINZ index of dairy farm prices, which takes into account differences in the composition of sales by farm size and location, rose 9.7% at the end of January from a year earlier.

On the other hand, the market for lifestyle properties was much less robust, with sales volumes much lower.

According to REINZ 1938, lifestyle blocks were sold in the three months to the end of January this year, down 29% from a year earlier and the downturn in sales appears to be getting worse.

“When sales volumes are compared month by month, the January 2022 figures reflect a massive 47.5% reduction from December 2021 sales,” REINZ rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke said.