Buyer confidence low
Drought dried up buyer appetite for Waikato dairy farms last month, with just three sales compared to 13 in January and 14 in December.
But REINZ rural market spokesman Brian Peacocke said the pattern did not echo in grazing property sales, of which there were 10 last month, compared to five in January and nine in December.
Finishing properties also bucked the drought trend with two sales in February, five in January and two in December.
Demand for well-located and contoured dairy farms with good levels of improvement outstripped supply, Peacocke said.
He expected the drought to take the shine off the traditional January to early April surge in dairy farm sales.
Farm owners sometimes did not put their properties on the market if they were not looking their best, he said.
Seven regions recorded increases in farm sales for the three months ended February compared to the same period ended February last year.
Auckland at 17 more sales posted the largest increase, with Nelson on 16 and Waikato recording 11 more sales.
Seven regions posted decreases in sale numbers, with Canterbury heading the list at -16 farms.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to end February was $21,951, 1.4 per cent up on the same period the previous year.
The national median for lifestyle blocks rose by $30,000 from $465,000 to $495,000 for the comparative three month periods.
DRIED UP: Sales of dairy farms are down.