NZ farm sales set to fall as stellar season ends, REINZ says   15 May 2012

Hannah

The Real Estate Institute is warning of a slowdown in farm sales as seasonal conditions look set to sour, ending the best quarterly sales period since August 2008.

The number of farms sold rose 53 percent to 443 in the three months ended April 31, up from 290 sales a year earlier, according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. The median price per hectare for all farms sold rose 3.8 percent to $17,938.

"The earlier confidence arising from the very good season just past is being replaced by a distinct note of caution as purchasers take account of recent reductions in market returns for dairy products, mutton and lamb," said Brian Peacocke, REINZ rural market spokesman. "Expectations are for the market to continue to slow as we move into winter - there is an acknowledgment that income levels are likely to be down for the forthcoming season."

A strong kiwi dollar and falling prices for locally produced raw materials are set to weigh on the rural sector after uncharacteristically good weather conditions stoked New Zealand's production last year. That's prompted Bank of New Zealand economists to warn the nation's export receipts may drop by $3 billion over the coming year, weighing on farmers' incomes.

REINZ said all regions except Hawkes Bay and Otago recorded an increase in sales in the April quarter compared with a year earlier. Waikato showed the largest increase in sales, up 32 sales, followed by Canterbury with 28 more sales. Hawkes Bay dropped five sales, while sales in Otago fell by four.

Grazing properties accounted for the largest increase in sales, rising 53 percent in the three month period. That was followed by finishing properties, climbing 16 percent and dairy farms, up 15 percent.

The lifestyle property market increased its sales by about 29 percent.

(BusinessDesk)

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