Farm sales far from following usual trend
Two real estate agents say it would take nearly six years to sell the Waikato District’s farm inventory of 296 farms if sales continued at their current rate.
In their Rural Agent blog Stuart Gudsell and Sharon James, real estate agents at the Te Awamutu branch of PGG Wrightson, said there were 134 dairy farms, 128 grazing farms, 19 finishing farms, eight cropping farms, three horticultural blocks, two specialist livestock farms and two forestry blocks on the market.
Mr Gudsell, who has been in real estate for 12 years, told the Waikato Times the market was at the lowest point he had ever seen it as far as volume was concerned.
‘‘It ain’t flash; the statistics don’t lie,’’ he said.
Real Estate Institute of New Zealand figures, quoted by the pair show the Waipa was the only district in the Waikato to sell any farms in August with two sales. September saw two farm sales in the Waipa, one in the Matamata-Piako district and four in the Waikato.
In October one farm sold in each of the Matamata-Piako, Otorohanga, Taupo and Waipa districts.
Prices ranged from just under $1million to just over $3million.
In the July to September quarter, 100 lifestyle blocks sold in the region but 1296 remain on the market, which the agents estimate would take just over three years and three months to sell at the current rate.
They said if no more rural properties were listed in the Waikato it would take 299 weeks to sell every listed farm and 170 weeks to sell every listed lifestyle block.
Lifestyle block sales in the Waikato have again decreased when compared with a month earlier.
Total lifestyle block sales for October were 23, compared to 33 in September and 44 in August.
‘‘Needless to say this is not the direction the market traditionally tracks as we progress through spring to summer,’’ the pair said in their blog.
‘‘Cautious optimism is being felt in two of the Waikato’s districts; Otorohanga has achieved its first farm sale (finishing) in five months and Taupo (grazing) in six.
However with only four farm sales in the entire Waikato region for the month of October this optimism could of course prove to be premature.
‘‘ The other two sales were in Matamata-Piako (dairy) and Waipa (grazing).’’
Dairy farmers, while promised a good milk cheque with the lift in milk commodity prices, were still retiring debt following a couple of bad years and suffering from fallout from the global recession as were the typical buyers of lifestyle blocks who didn’t have enough confidence or cash to invest. Mr Gudsell said there would always be a few ‘‘over the fence’’ farm sales that didn’t make it into the Real Estate Institute’s figures but the percentage was very low.