Property sales are on the rise again
The Waikato region led the country in recording the highest increase in farm sales in the December quarter compared to the three months to November last year.
Latest Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) figures show 53 farms sold in Waikato in the December quarter, up 19 from the 34 sold in the three months to November.
The Waikato recorded the third highest increase in farm sales in the December quarter compared to the same period in 2011, with an increase of 13 sales, and beaten only by Auckland – up 17 – and Nelson – up 14.
Nationally, 382 farms sold in the December quarter, up 35.9 per cent on the 281 sold in the three months to November 2012, and up 8.2 per cent on the 353 sold in the December 2011 quarter.
A total of 1454 farms sold in the year to December – 21.9 per cent more than in the year to December 2011.
REINZ rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke said the December figures showed a healthy increase in volumes in most farm sales categories, except horticulture and forestry.
‘‘In the North Island we have seen an increase in activity from sharemilkers, particularly in Northland and Taranaki, and more activity in Waikato focused on dairy properties and dairy support units.’’
There was also a noticeable lift in interest in dairy properties in Canterbury and Southland, he said.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the December quarter was $23,070, a 12.8 per cent increase on the same period in 2011.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index rose by 1.1 per cent in the December quarter compared to the three months to November, from 3,069.52 to 3,103.88.
Compared to December 2011, the REINZ All Farm Price Index increased by 0.4 per cent. The index is intended to track price movements more accurately, by adjusting for property-specific factors such as location, size and farm type and for macroeconomic variables such as interest rates, exchange rates and commodity prices.
Meanwhile, the national lifestyle property market saw a 28.4 per cent increase in sales in the December quarter compared to the same period in 2011.
A total of 1618 sales were recorded, up 358 on the 1260 sales in the three months to December 2011.
Nine regions recorded increases in lifestyle property sales over this period. Auckland led with 135 more sales, followed by Waikato and ManawatuWhanganui with 50 more sales each.
The national median price for lifestyle blocks improved by $15,000 or 3.2 per cent from $475,000 for the three months to November 2012, to $490,000 for the three months to December 2012 to reach a new record high.
Compared to the three months to December 2011, the median price in the December 2012 quarter rose by 2.9 per cent or $13,750.
The lifestyle property market overall was in good health with rising volumes and the new record median price, Mr Peacocke said.
‘‘Those properties close to the main centres, and Auckland in particular, are experiencing solid demand, although there is little pressure on prices in these areas.’’