More action in rural property market
A robotic dairy farm on the outskirts of Hamilton developed three years ago will be sold by auction next month.
The property is considered to be one of New Zealand’s most high-tech farms. It is a 72.7ha property, a dairy farm with robotic milking plants and an extensive self-feeding barn at Puketaha, to the east of the city.
The operation has automatic drafting gates that allow unimpeded cow movement to and from the shed 24 hours a day. The farm has a state-of-the-art effluent separator, numerous other supporting buildings and a large house.
The property, on Holland Road, was developed three years ago as one of around 10 robotic milking operations in the country. It has 16 separate titles, making it even more attractive to investors.
This farm will be sold through auction on December 8.
Property Brokers regional manager Greg Kellick said it was one of several large dairy properties that are now on the market.
He said Waikato farm prices were expected to lift this season on the back of a brighter outlook for dairying, continued strength in returns on beef and heightened interest from urban investors.
Kellick was not deterred by a slower than normal start to new listings for the spring season as activity was starting to pick up.
He reckons there will be improvement in dairy farm prices region-wide as the sector pulls out of two years’ depressed milksolids payout.
‘‘There has not been a deluge of property sales as earlier feared but values have been depressed since 2013. Several smaller units have sold recently at prices down around 30 per cent compared with just last autumn. Nonetheless, confidence is now returning on the back of spring grass growth and the forecast upturn in the payout for 2016-17.
‘‘Recovery in dairying will flow onto drystock land values due to the traditional mixed use of much of the Waikato’s good grazing land. Current beef prices make cattle finishing an attractive option alongside dairy sup- port,’’ Kellick said.
The pace of the recovery will, nonetheless, hinge on the price expectations of buyers and sellers, he said. Many of the former are still looking to buy at last year’s levels or lower, and some vendors may have to moderate their optimism for a while yet.
Sam Andersen demonstrates a robotic milker at the Lely stand, at the National Agricultural Fieldays in 2014.